Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has today (Wednesday) assisted in the launch of a report by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, of which he is a member, which calls for a statutory code of conduct in the grocery goods sector.  The Report entitled ‘The Grocery Goods Sector: Increasing equity and transparency in producer-processor-retailer relationships’ lists 13 practical recommendations which, it is believed could strengthen the Irish Food Sector and maintain a vibrant retail sector.

“The aim of this report is to provide an equitable food supply chain in light of the Committee’s concerns about the viability of areas of the Irish Food Sector.  The report was informed by a series of meetings with the main stakeholders that the Committee held over a period of seven months.”

The recommendations include

  • A statutory code of conduct to be implemented without delay, underpinned by an independent supermarket ombudsman, with access to cost effective legal supports for small and medium enterprises;
  • Legislation to be introduced to force the publication of profits and turnovers of the large multiples and large processors operating in Ireland;
  • A minimum pricing order on the sale of alcohol to be introduced, and a ban on below cost sale of staples such as milk;
  • Tighter rules on labelling to be put in place as a matter of priority and the need for prominent displaying of processor code and country of origin on own brand products.

We hope the 13 recommendations will be taken on board by both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation and will feed into the Consumer and Competition Bill which is due to be published shortly.

“I welcome this report which is about fairness, transparency and traceability.  It is about a fair price and a fair proportion of the overall price for primary producers but also fairness for the consumer” concluded Deputy Heydon.