Milk industry hits out at below-cost selling
ICMSA president Pat McCormack has told supermarkets if they want to take part in a price war with competitors they should use their own resources instead of applying pressure to milk farmers and food producers.
12 April 2018 | 0
The president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association, Pat McCormack, has hit out at supermarket price wars, stating that if the corporations want to take part in such actions, they should do it using their own resources.
McCormack was responding to the proposals currently being enacted in France to ban below-cost selling in supermarkets, in a bid to increase farmers’ incomes. France is the EU’s largest farm producer, accounting for about one-third of all agricultural land in the Union.
Quoted in Agriland, McCormack said that an EU member state had finally decided to confront “the dictatorship of corporate retailers.
“The Irish government and European Commission must follow this example,” he continued, “and end the manipulation of margins by corporations that have neither the interests of food producers or farmers at heart.”
In November, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the new measures will be in place for a trial period of two years, as part of a complete audit of the country’s “farm to fork” practices.
“The French proposal may not be perfect,” McCormack said, “but it signals that the state is not willing to allow supermarkets to wipe out margins of those supplying them in order to gain market share.
“If supermarkets want to engage in a price war,” he continued, “they should do it out of their own resources and not fight for the last drop of farmers’ blood – exactly what they’re doing now.”
McCormack added that all parties need to “call retailers’ bluff” when they counter by saying fair margins would lead to inflation.