Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Challenges in the Pig, Poultry and Horticulture Sectors: Irish Farmers Association

Mr. Robert Malone:

We have done a full round of retail engagements and ultimately a discounter by its nature will look to offer value. They want it at both ends. They want it from the suppliers putting in product and that has ultimately driven down the price of food. According to the consumer price index, the price of food is down almost 10% over the past ten years. That is where the problem lies. They can all say they are engaging and we see many Irish flags and farmers' pictures in all retailers. Ultimately, it is where the man is buying the product and setting the price that we need to tackle this. Legislation is required to open up this process so we can get accountability. Below-cost selling is an issue but tackling it on its own is not the answer. We must have transparency and somebody to call out these retailers. We have seen it in the UK with Ms Christine Tacon in the role of food regulator. It worked there and we need something like that put in place here in Ireland.