Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has called for Government support to urge major retailers and processing companies to give fair pricing to pig and poultry farmers for their produce, given the difficulties the sector is facing at present.
In a question to Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue in Dáil Eireann, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I believe clear messaging from the Government to the meat processing companies and the major retailers to offer adequate prices to the farmers of the impacted sector is required urgently.”
The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “The pig and poultry sector is facing chronic difficulties at the moment and in order for the industry to survive these farmers and farm families deserve to be rewarded appropriately for the hard work they put into their produce.”
In response, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue stated that while prices paid to farmers or charged to consumers are not controlled by Government and are, obviously, subject to market demands, “it is critically important that farm families and food producers are treated fairly.”
The Minister continued: “The establishment of the Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri-Food Supply Chain is one of my priorities as Minister, and I am confident it will be an advocate and provide a voice for farmers, fishers, growers and other food businesses all along the agricultural and food supply chain.
“I am pleased to have announced this week that the recruitment process for the CEO of the new Office has begun. By having the competition in parallel with the legislative process, I want to ensure that the Office is up and running as early as possible.”