27 Mar 2014
SURVEY FINDINGS SHOW PUBLIC ENDORSE REGULATION OF RETAILERS TO DELIVER FAIR PRICE FOR FARMERS
Reacting to the Agri-Aware survey which shows that almost 9 out of 10 people think legislation should be introduced to ensure that farmers receive a fair price from supermarkets, IFA President Eddie Downey welcomed the strong endorsement of the Association’s view that regulation of retailers is needed.
He said, “Consumers clearly understand that what happened before Christmas with giveaway prices of vegetables was an example of retailers making a mockery of quality food and threatening the viability of producers in this country. Consumers want quality food at reasonable prices”.
Eddie Downey said the real test of the new legislation, which is scheduled to be published next week, would be a fairer return to producers which covers the cost of production and leaves a margin to cover their work and investment.
Eddie Downey said, “IFA has campaigned for a long time for this legislation, and the Government has finally signalled that legislation is on the way. However, it must be sufficiently robust to restore equity to the food supply chain and curb the dominance of the retail multiples. The latest figures released show the major multiples control nearly 90% of the grocery market”.
“The retail multiples are over dominant in the food supply chain and some of them are engaged in unfair and predatory pricing practices, which are impacting very negatively on the viability of primary producers. Strong and effective legislation, both at national and EU level, is needed to ensure producers are paid a fair price which reflects production costs and leaves an acceptable margin.”
The IFA President warned that without proper enforcement powers, the role of the Ombudsman as envisaged in the legislation will be toothless. “There is little point in the Government fulfilling its promise if it doesn’t provide the necessary back-up to tackle the retailers”.