The price of food should allow farmers to be paid at a level that makes sense and the Government has already moved to achieve such fairness in the agri-food supply chain, an Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Irish Farmers Journal at the National Ploughing Championships.

An Taoiseach stated that the establishment of the Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri Food Supply Chain would help farmers see such outcomes.

“And he [Minister McConalogue] has, as you know, introduced legislation in terms of a commission in terms of fair and transparent food prices and, without question, the primary producer must be rewarded for the work they do to a level that makes sense and that’s what that commission will endeavour to do,” an Taoiseach said.

The office is to enforce the unfair trading practices (UTP) directive and make available markets and price information to farmers. It is to be established once Government’s agricultural and food supply chain bill passes.

Easing volatility

The Fianna Fáil leader also stated that the market volatility farmers experience must be lessened to allow farm incomes to stabilise, which would facilitate farm business planning.

“And we need to keep the balance between the need to keep primary producers in the game, so to speak, and also to try and reduce the volatility around the industry,” he commented.

“So, you can have some very good years and some very lean years. And what we need is a consistency of return for the primary producer that they can prepare for the long haul and plan appropriately.”

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