EU - Irish farmers have called on the new EU Commission urgently to address the issue of equity for producers in the food supply chain as a priority.
Speaking from Brussels where he chaired a meeting of the COPA-COGECA Working Party on the Food Chain, Irish Farmers’ Association President Eddie Downey (pictured) urged EU Commissioner Phil Hogan to implement EU statutory legislation that will prevent the below-cost selling by retailers of produce.
“The voluntary initiative undertaken in the EU over recent years is simply not working. Producers must cover their costs of production and get a margin for their work and investment in quality food production,” Mr Downey said.
Mr Downey outlined to the delegates from the other Member States the progress being made in Ireland in retail legislation with the enactment of the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill in 2014 and the recent publication of draft regulations which will give the Government the power to regulate certain practices in the grocery goods sector.
The IFA President said: “The new legislation in Ireland will be judged on the effectiveness of the implementation of the Regulations, which must result in a rebalancing of power in the food supply chain.
“It is critical that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission take a proactive role in initiating investigations, ensuring compliance with and penalising breaches of the regulations.”
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