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Europa 27/03/2024

Irlanda: Potato growers call for protest action outside supermarkets

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president, Francie Gorman, has been given a clear mandate by potato growers to organise protests outside supermarkets in response to continuing frustration at the perceived complexity of Bord Bia quality assurance

Aligned to this issue is the growing insistence of supermarkets to push forward with additional audits and inspections linked to the GLOBALG.A.P schemes (which sets standards for primary production and the supply chain and Nature’s Choice standard.

These matters were discussed in detail at a National Potato Meeting hosted by IFA earlier this week, which was attended by O’Gorman.

Potato growers

Proceedings at the potato meeting culminated with a show-of-hands, which confirmed unanimity within the room for protests to be held outside supermarkets at the behest of the IFA  president and the office bearers of the National Potato Committee. 

Responding to the issues raised by growers, the IFA president said that he would be meeting Bord Bia chief executive, Jim O’Toole early next week to discuss these matters.

Specifically, it was confirmed that the IFA is represented on the Bord Bia technical standards committee, where issues relating to quality assurance inspections and related procedures are concerned.    

“I fully recognise the contribution made by the potato industry to Ireland’s farming and food economy,” Gorman said.

“Growers need sustainable prices at all times; they shouldn’t need to wait for a shortage in supply in order to secure the farmgate returns they deserve.”

Gorman said he was also aware of the escalating pressure on growers where labour and all input costs are concerned.

However, he is hopeful that the office of the new agri-food regulator will act positively on farmers’ behalf.

“IFA had campaigned vigorously for the establishment of a food regulator’s office for many years,” he continued.

“It will take some time for the new team now in place to make a difference and IFA fully recognises this reality.

“However, if it becomes obvious that the food regulator needs additional powers then government will be lobbied accordingly.”

Supermarkets

According to Gorman, IFA will be meeting with the chief executives of Ireland’s leading food retailers over the coming weeks.

“This process starts over the coming days when we will meet representatives from TESCO Ireland,” he explained.

“Issues on the agenda will include the need to review current quality assurance regulations and the imperative of delivering sustainable prices to farmers and growers.

“I fully accept the mandate given to me by potato growers for IFA to host protests outside supermarket premises, if this approach is deemed to be necessary.”    

Fuente: https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/potato-growers-call-for-protest-action-outside-supermarkets/


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