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Food Industry.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Questions (16)

Damien English

Question:

16 Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has studied the Equity for Farmers in the Food Supply Chain report by the IFA; the steps he will take to address the issues raised in this document; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11985/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

The report refers to the need for equity for farmers in the food supply chain and as I have pointed out repeatedly, I believe that there is a need for considerable improvement so that all players, including producers and consumers, receive fair treatment. The concentration of retail power in the hands of a few large supermarket chains is an international phenomenon, which has fundamentally changed the balance of market negotiating power in the food chain.

I have emphasised consistently at EU and national level the necessity for a reasonable balance between granting price reductions to consumers and giving a fair return to suppliers and producers to ensure fair play in trading conditions and sustainability of food supply within the EU. I am very pleased that the Spanish Presidency had committed itself to progressing the whole issue of improving the functioning of the food chain, and the Tánaiste has also signalled her intention to introduce a national Code of Practice, initially on a voluntary basis, for doing business in the Grocery Goods sector with a view to ensuring a fair trading relationship between retailers and their suppliers.

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