IFA offices raided by Competition Authority
The IFA is appalled that it has become the target of Competition Authority investigations, while the multiples have remained untouched
20 May 2011
Members of the Competition Authority along with gardaí conducted a raid on the IFA head offices in Dublin on 13 May due to allegations by retailers that farmers were engaged in price fixing of milk.
For six hours, up to 16 officials used a warrant to search the offices at the Farm Centre in West Dublin.
Members of the IFA including President John Bryan were questioned during the raid over the issue of fixing of liquid milk prices contrary to section 4 of the Competition Act.
A number of computers, mobile phones and several boxes of files were seized during the raid and will not be returned for up to two weeks or not at all if any information found is classified as evidence.
The IFA has clashed with the Competition Authority before following protests at Convoy Dairies in Donegal in October 2000 and at Drogheda Port in 2002.
According to Sligo Today, Bryan said: “It is totally unacceptable that taxpayers’ money is being wasted to target farm families struggling to cope with increased costs and collapsing margins for their milk, while the retail multiples pillage the profits out of the food supply chain, screwing both suppliers and consumers. Farmers will be disgusted that the Competition Authority is clearly backing greedy retailers and turning a blind eye to their abuse of suppliers.”
Bryan is now seeking a meeting with Minister John Bruton to progress the Code of Practice for the retail sector.