New IFA president pledges review of pay and working conditions at organisation
THE new president of the Irish Farmers' Association has pledged that governance will be strengthened and the levels of transparency increased as he addressed farmers' for the first time.
Galway farmer Joe Healy (49), who was last week elected to the IFA following the recent pay controversy, said he was determined to lead a united and strong organisation.
"Members have been let down by failures in transparency, governance and decision making," the dairy and cattle farmer said during his address to the National Executive and outgoing members attending the AGM at the IFA headquarters in Dublin's Bluebell.
Mr Healy said a review of pay and working conditions at all levels will be undertaken.
Mr Healy said he would begin the process for the appointment of a new director general, after former general secretary Pat Smith after it emerged his pay package amounted to almost €1m over two years.
Mr Healy is filling the seat vacated by former president Eddie Downey who stepped down after the pay controversy erupted late last year.
Mr Healy said it was totally unacceptable that farmers, who do most of the work in producing high-quality food, are receiving a price below the cost of production.
"We need a rebalancing of power in the food supply chain," he said. "The aggressive behaviour of dominant retailers towards smaller suppliers, particularly vegetable, fruit and potato growers must be stopped."