Retailers face increased “fair price” pressure from farmers

Both the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and Copa Cogeca have spoken out this week on the need for Europe’s supermarkets to be placed under tighter controls concerning what they pay farmers for supplies.

Speaking during the IFA’s 60th anniversary AGM in Dublin, association president, Eddie Downey, called for a major stepping up of political action as regards major retailers.

“Stronger regulation of retailers both at home and at EU level is needed,” he said, adding that such action was required to give farmers a “fairer share out of the consumer price”.

“This must include a ban on below-cost selling, which has been a scourge for our potato and vegetable sector,” he continued, while also calling for a “supermarkets’ ombudsman” to be introduced to “enforce fair play”.

Mr Downey’s words followed a Copa Cogeca statement, also issued this week, which said the EU commission “must act” when supermarkets abuse their position, such as during the current Russian crisis.

The European farmers and farm cooperatives’ organisation also warned retailers against using “fear factor” tactics in order to give “bad prices to producers”.

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