Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (494)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

494. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department has examined the proposal to ban the below-cost selling of agricultural produce, including beef; and the way in which this could be achieved with existing national and EU legislation. [47683/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The legislative powers to tackle the matters mentioned are under the auspices of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, together with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. The Commission, which was established on 31 October 2014, is the statutory body responsible for enforcing consumer protection and competition law in Ireland.

Previous legislation, the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987 was introduced under the auspices of the Department of Industry and Commerce (now Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation). The Order banned the selling of goods below their invoice price and was introduced to prevent small shops being driven out of business by large supermarket chains. Following public debate and consultation, this Order was rescinded in 2006.

Price levels agreed between retail outlets and their suppliers, and charged by retail outlets, are a commercial matter. Whilst it is not my role to set supermarket prices for agricultural products or to be involved in price negotiations, I very much encourage greater co-operation and discussion between all parties in order to ensure the viability of the Irish food sector.