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Competition Authority raid must be explained

The farmers who have taken to the streets to protest against the Competition Authority's lack of action to curb unacceptable practices in the retail trade deserve to be heard.

The ability of the major multiple retailers in Ireland and Europe to extract too high a proportion of value in the food chain without serious challenge from regulatory authorities raises serious questions about food security for consumers. This can only be secured by ensuring continued production of quality traceable food in Europe.

The action of the Competition Authority in raiding the offices of a representative body for primary producers is puzzling to say the least. The primary producer has no power to manipulate prices or terms of business.

Unfortunately, farmers are price takers and not price makers and the Competition Authority, so incapable of reining in the retail trade, must explain their recent actions.

Marian Harkin, MEP

Irish Independent