IFA president Tim Cullinan has called on legislation to be further strengthened to ensure greater equity for Irish farmers and security within the Irish food supply chain.

In his address to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain Bill, he called for stiffer sanctions in the way of fines to be set in place for those who are found in breach of the legislation set forward in the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Bill.

“The current proposal for a €1,000 maximum fixed price penalty is not acceptable. The implementation of a substantial fine is needed to deter any breach of this legislation. We cannot have a situation where retailers or processors are playing ignorant to any rules set out in this bill.”

“The sanctions need to be set higher. The IFA proposes a much higher limit of €4m or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher. This would coincide with similar penalty criteria as set out by the GDPR legislation,” the IFA president stated.

He also highlighted the need for a ban on below cost procurement of food as a priority to ensure the long-term sustainability of food production in Ireland.

“The legislation put forward in the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Bill must include a ban on below cost procurement of food. It is necessary to secure the long-term sustainability of farmers to produce food, and it is also in line with the sustainability programmes which both the retailers and processors have set out,” Cullinan said.

Minister O’Donovan must act to save crops in Shannon Callows – IFA

IFA Connacht chair Pat Murphy said farmers want the OPW to manage the water levels on the River Shannon by dropping the water level while ensuring that it doesn’t cause problems further downstream.

“There’s a large amount of hay and silage either being harvested or yet to be harvested. The crops on the Shannon Callows make up a substantial portion of winter fodder and are extremely important for farmers. July is a key month for farmers in the Callows to harvest crops, which help ensure winter fodder is secured,” he said.

“There have been significant levels of rainfall within the upper Shannon catchment recently. To avoid substantial crop losses over the coming days, farmers need the minister to take immediate control of the situation and ensure the water levels are managed appropriately to reduce the risk of flooding. This will allow farmers to save their extremely valuable crops,” he said.