Speaking at the National Potato Conference in Co Meath, IFA President Tim Cullinan called on the newly-approved Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri Food Supply Chain to ensure a fair share of the consumer price is paid back to farmers and unfair trading practices are eliminated.
As IFA reports, addressing the conference organised with Teagasc and Bord Bia, Tim Cullinan highlighted that with input costs at an all-time high, combined with uncertainty in the supply chain and a tough season for potato growers, now more than ever potato farmers need the market to return a fair price that makes their farms viable.
“Growers need to receive a fair share of the retail value. They carry all of the risk while the facilitators and retailers take the lion’s share of the margin,” Tim Cullinan said. “The office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri Food Supply Chain is now approved and a budget is in place. This Office will be crucial in ensuring a fair share of the consumer euro goes to farmers, and in regulating unfair trading practices.”
“If there isn’t a viable price for farmers for their work and investment, then we will see more farmers in horticulture and potato sectors go out of business,” he added.
IFA Potato Chairman Sean Ryan said potato growers’ incomes are unsustainable and the farm gate price of the product must rise to cover storage costs alone. Retailers and packers/merchants must act now to address this if we are to have a potato industry in the future.