Fianna Fáil agriculture policy levels the playing field for Mayo farmers – Calleary

Published on: 30 September 2015

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the party’s new agriculture policy will ensure that farmers are given a fair deal when it comes to pricing and farm profitability.  The strategy, “Securing fair process and increased profitability for farmers”, demonstrates Fianna Fáil’s commitment to family farming and seeks to protect the viability of these important businesses.

Deputy Calleary explains, “Family farming is at the heart of the Irish agriculture sector, however over the past four years essential supports have been cut and farmers have been left exposed to market volatility.  This Government has failed to protect smaller farmers, instead bringing in overcomplicated and bureaucracy heavy schemes.  The beef genomics programme is a key example of this Government’s mismanagement of agriculture schemes.  Many farmers in Mayo have been reluctant to sign up to the deal because of the large amount of red tape involved.  The onerous restrictions governing the six year rule have led to much disquiet and have ultimately put many farmers off applying for the scheme.  Our policy wants to see a more flexible system put in place, which would permit an exit from the six year rule as well as improved payments for farmers.

“The issue of fair prices is one of the key principles of this policy.  The coming years offer a real opportunity to farmers to grow and develop their businesses, while expanding a world class agri-food sector.  However, to ensure this, farmers must be able to secure a fair price for their produce.  Under Minister Simon Coveney, a small number of dominant players have been allowed to set prices, further squeezing already hard pressed farmers.

“Fianna Fáil wants to establish a Groceries Code Adjudicator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and the primary producer.  This will ensure that large retailers treat their suppliers fairly and abide by the law.  The Adjudicator will also be given legislative powers to sanction any breach of the law.

“This document is about supporting family farms, making sure that fair prices are achieved and increasing farm profitability.  The current Government’s decisions, which have only served the large multiples and processors, must be addressed and reversed to ensure the viability of the farming community in Mayo”.

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