The regulatory powers of the new food regulator need to be strenghtened in order for real change to happen, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan has said.

Cullinan has pressed Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to ensure these powers are part of the regulator, which is set to pass through the Dáil soon.

Cullinan said while the office has now been given the title of regulator, it doesn’t appear to have the necessary powers needed to effect real change.

The food regulator must have the power to ensure a fair distribution of the price consumers pay to all parts of the food chain, including farmers, he said.


"Enforcement of the unfair trading practices directive and reporting on market data will help bring transparency to what is a broken system.

"But without a food regulator who has the power to ensure a fair price, farmers remain to be convinced how they will benefit from the long-promised Office of Fairness and Transparency and Food Regulator," he said.

The amended agricultural and food supply chain bill 2022 was debated at the select committee on agriculture on Wednesday.

The IFA president said the association had submitted several proposals regarding the bill as it progressed through the Oireachtas. While some recommendations were included, such as increased penalties for offences, many others were not.

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