IFA says unfair retail practices are costing farmers and co-ops €11bn annually

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Brexit threat to agriculture must be top of Government agenda says IFA President

IFA president Joe Healy

Unfair trading practices by retailers cost farmers and agri-co-ops across Europe nearly €11bn each year, IFA president Joe Healy told an event organised by EuroCommerce in the European Parliament.

Mr Healy was addressing the event in his capacity as chairman of the COPA-COGECA Food Chain Working Party.

Picking up on the theme of the event, Retailers & Farmers – partners in the Food Chain, the IFA president said: “As a farmer and a farmer representative, I cannot say that farmers and retailers are partners. Being partners suggests that we are on an equal footing and have clear transparency on price and conditions across the food supply chain. This is not the case.”

The independent report commissioned by COPA also shows that 94 per cent of farmers and 95 per cent of agri co-ops have been exposed at least once to unfair trading practices.

Examples include late payments, below-cost selling, pay-to-play money and payment for shelf space.

Prices and margins received by farmers across the EU were published in detail, but there was very little transparency on margins of larger businesses in the food supply chain, he said.

“We need to know who gets what from each consumer euro,” said Mr Healy.