Following the publication of the Travers Report on a draft Code of Practice for the grocery goods sector, IFA President John Bryan said having carried out a detailed assessment of the draft, IFA has grave concerns that it does not include the necessary protection for the primary producer in the food supply chain.
Mr. Bryan said the proposed legislation has more to do with protecting the retailers and their predatory pricing rather than achieving equity and fairness in the food supply chain.
The IFA President called on the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton to ensure that key issues were addressed in the Code of Practice to recognise and protect the interests of the supply base and the primary producer.
In particular, the Code of Practice must ensure:
that unsustainable practices, including below cost selling are outlawed;
contracts between retailers and suppliers do not include provisions to support retailer promotions / discounting;
the principle of fair trade for farmers in the grocery sector by providing a means for the more equitable share-out of the consumer price across the food chain;
retailers are obliged to report details of their profitability and turnover in this country;
penalties are put in place to guarantee that retailers comply with the Code;
a limit is set on the use of own brands
Along with a Code of Practice, the Government must legislate for an Independent Ombudsman office, which would have legal powers to demand information from retailers as part of their investigations and provide anonymity and confidentiality to suppliers who make complaints to initiate investigations and have the powers to enforce penalties for non-compliance.
IFA will be making a detailed submission to Minister Bruton on the Code of Practice and the final legislation must ensure greater equity and transparency in the share our of the consumer price between retailers, their food suppliers and especially primary producers.