Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has hit out at certain German retailers following reports that they have cut the price of fresh produce below the cost of production.  This is the latest example of supermarket outlets and multiples selling fruit and vegetables below cost price.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “Horticulture producers will have no future in this country unless concrete action is taken to immediately ban the below cost selling of fruit and vegetables.  Fianna Fáil is firmly committed to ensuring this policy implemented.

“We have also put forward a proposal to introduce a Food Ombudsman based on the “Groceries Code Adjudicator” model which operates in the UK, which enshrines the protection of primary producers in national law.

“In effect, this Food Ombudsman would act as an independent adjudicator and oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers. This would ensure that big supermarkets treat their direct suppliers fairly and abide by the law.  It would also have the power to investigate complaints and arbitrate in disputes.

“Farmers are seriously contemplating the viability of the horticulture sector, as they are finding it increasingly difficult to break even as a result of the multiples’ practice of below cost selling.  Fianna Fáil will continue to fight for a fair price for producers to ensure that farmers are protected and supported so that this important industry can continue to grow”.