Mandatory price reporting for meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables must be pushed by EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, the IFA has insisted.
Speaking from Brussels where the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee discussed a report on the EU food chain, IFA president Joe Healy said it was critical that recommendations to improve farmer returns were introduced “without delay”.
“The report contains important recommendations on increased price transparency and independent enforcement to strengthen farmers’ position in the food chain,” Healy said.
“The Commission must introduce mandatory and timely price reporting for meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables to provide reliable data on prices and margins outside the farm-gate through to consumer level,” he added.
Recommendations for effective and independent enforcement of retail regulations at member state level, and the proposal for new rules to cover unfair trading practices (UTPs) have been supported by farm organisations across the EU.
“Suppliers must have confidence that complaints will be investigated, regulations will be complied with and abuses prosecuted,” said Mr Healy.
“The report recognises the need for independent enforcement of retail regulation and this effectively supports IFA’s demand for an independent retail ombudsman. This is necessary to assure suppliers that complaints will be investigated and abuses prosecuted,” Healy said.
There has been widespread complaints from farmers and other suppliers that supermarkets have excessive power in the food chain, and take a disproportionate share of prices.
Last year Tesco was reprimanded by the UK supermarket watchdog, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), after a year-long investigation into allegations that the company delayed payments to suppliers and demanding extra fees.