Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has welcomed the continued growth of Irish food and drink exports but warned that farmers must begin to receive a fair price for their products.

Figures published today by Bord Bia reveal that food and drink exports from Ireland rose by over 9% last year, which is the fourth year in succession this has occurred.  

“The figures released by Bord Bia are encouraging and again prove just how important the Agri-Food sector is to Ireland’s recovery. The Food Harvest 2020 Programme, which was launched by the previous Government in 2010, has proven to be a considerable success and we are on track to reach the export target of €12 billion by 2020.

“However, the figures today also highlight the need for farmers and producers to receive a fair price for their products and services.  Supermarket chains are continuously cutting the price farmers receive for their goods, many of the multi-nationals in Ireland are reporting massive profits but food producers do not receive their fair share and are struggling to survive.

“There is a strong need for mandatory codes of practice to be introduced in Ireland and the EU to ensure a level playing pitch between producers and retailers. There are inadequate protections for farmers, which has led to multi-national supermarkets abusing their position and exploiting food producers, ” Deputy Ó Cuív concluded.