IFA seeks retail regulator to oversee food chain

IFA President Joe Healy has urged the Government to push ahead with an independent retail regulator to give effect to tougher legislation on the food chain.

He was responding to comments by the head of the CCPC, Isolde Goggin, who said the Commission didn’t have the resources to do it.

Ms Goggin told the joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine that a sectoral specific body be given a remit to enforce the directive.

It also advised that those imbalances are best addressed before contracts are signed by farmers and retailers.

“The fact that the CCPC is walking away from this won’t surprise farmers, who never had faith in the Commission to pursue retailers,” said Joe Healy, who acknowledged that the CCPC recognises that an independent adjudicator with strong powers is needed to intervene on the ground and give farmers a hearing.

“We have always held up the UK model as the basis for making real headway in this area. With the CCPC off the pitch, we want the Government to get this moving. The good work done at EU level will only have impact if there is robust enforcement on behalf of primary producers,” he said.

“It’s time for our Government to get on with it and transpose the EU Directive into Irish law.”

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