IFA president Joe Healy takes aim at retailers
Irish Farmers' Association chief Joe Healy brought the issue of farms' profitability in the "reckless and unsustainable" retail industry to the fore today in his speech to the association's 63rd Annual General Meeting.
16 January 2018
The 63rd Irish Farmers’ Association AGM took place in Dublin today, with President Joe Healy proclaiming 2018 to be a defining year for farming. The convergence of Brexit, the CAP budget, Mercosur and climate change are creating a conflagration of crucial issues for farmers that has not been seen for many years, Healy said.
He acknowledged that the past 45 years of EU membership have been positive for Irish farmers, but the coming months will be a test of the Union’s commitment to the sector. “We expect Europe to stand by farmers,” Healy told the delegates, “and acknowledge the support Irish farmers have shown towards the EU.”
Healy’s wide-ranging speech explored all the issues facing Irish farmers, including the retail industry which he said was unfairly balanced against farmers, who are not getting a fair share of retail prices for products they supply.
“The figures don’t lie,” Healy said. “The retailer takes 51% of the final price, the processor gets 28%, but the farmer only gets 21%.
“Retailers are the modern-day dictators abusing their power to accumulate vast profits,” Healy said. “The more-established retailers have been joined recently by Iceland who seem hell bent on putting every Irish fresh food producer out of business with reckless and unsustainable discounting on fresh food.”
Healy said that the objective is to accumulate profits at the expense of farmers, producers, and consumers. A recent CAP consultation process showed that 97% of EU consumers are in favour of the farmer getting a better share of the retail price. “Commissioner Hogan has done good work in this area,” Healy said. “But we need to see more.”