Reports that EU agriculture commissioner-designate Phil Hogan will give serious consideration to the appointment of a food ombudsman as a way of ensuring a better balance within Europe’s agri-food chain have been welcomed by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association.
Patrick Kent, president, said ICSA has long been calling for regulation of the meat industry at EU level.
It was encouraging to hear Mr Hogan tell MEPs he will take a close interest in the trading practices of Europe’s leading food retailers.
Mr Kent said Mr Hogan also acknowledged that there might be a need for enforcement legislation if existing voluntary codes are not adhered to by retailers.
He said this is something Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney should be looking at in relation to the Irish meat industry.
However, he sounded a note of caution in relation to Mr Hogan’s pledge.
“We have heard promises before, and they have not always been acted upon.
“Farmers need to see Phil Hogan taking real and meaningful action to re-adjust the balance of power in the agri-food sector in favour of the primary producers. This action must happen sooner rather than later.”
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