Creed Calls for Comprehensive Response to the Need to Strengthen Farmers' Position in the Food Supply Chain
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today participated in a discussion with Member State colleagues on the need to strengthen farmers' position in the food supply chain. Speaking at the Informal Meeting of Agriculture Ministers in Bratislava, the Minister noted that the weak relative position of farmers in the food supply chain is a long-standing issue that needs to be definitively addressed.
The Minister said: "We have been responding to recent market difficulties with short-term measures, which, while helpful, need to be augmented with more medium-term, structural measures. Key among these is the need to address the current imbalance between the various actors in the food supply chain, which places farmers in a weak position." The Minister supported calls from other Member States for action across three main areas, namely, in facilitating further cooperation between all actors in the chain, increasing transparency in the availability of market and pricing information, and in dealing more effectively with unfair trading practices. On the latter, the Minister called in particular for the Commission to consider the potential value of an EU legislative framework: "I think experience in Ireland and elsewhere has shown that voluntary or self-regulatory approaches to dealing with unfair trading practices are of limited value, and can also lead to wide variations across Member States. I would therefore welcome a more active Commission interest in EU legislation." Concluding, the Minister also pointed out that changes to the legislative framework "will have to be accompanied by other measures to improve the sustainability of the food supply chain. These include initiatives to help farmers to reduce costs, improve competitiveness and adopt innovative approaches to the management of their enterprises."
To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 109/2016 (pdf 360Kb)
Date Released: 13 September 2016