IFA launched its Christmas Campaign in north Dublin this morning, which is the heart of the Irish horticulture sector that produces seasonal vegetables for the traditional Christmas dinner.

The campaign features the various sectors that produce what appears on the table for Christmas Day. For more information, read here.

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the work and investment by farmers and growers provides families with the highest quality food and drink for the festive season.

“Consumers are very fortunate to have world-class produce for their families to enjoy over Christmas. They recognize the commitment of farmers and growers, and they can see the benefits the farming sector brings to our economy,” he said.

The IFA President reminded retailers of their responsibility to pay a viable price to producers. “Price wars are inherently damaging to growers, destabilizing demand for their produce and creating the impression that costs of production are lower than they actually are,” he said.

Tim Cullinan said the first program of work for the Agri-Food Regulator, when it officially begins next week, is a root-and-branch investigation of the food chain.

The number of fruit and vegetable growers has been in decline for the past 20 years due to margin pressures exerted on growers from the top of the food chain.

“The new Agri-Food Regulator will have responsibility for all producers of food, but this sector is on the brink of non-viability and needs immediate attention in order to retain grower numbers and fresh produce production in Ireland,” he said.

“Farmers were never more in need of a voice and regulation to stand up for their livelihoods in an ever more dysfunctional food supply chain. Today’s food supply chain is dominated by a small number of big players. Their dominance is determining the livelihoods and future of farmers and food producers,” he concluded.