A new report on the food supply chain to be tabled in the European Parliament this Summer will take a tough approach to the issue of ensuring fairness for food producers, Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament said on Sunday (12th July), at the official opening of the Mullingar Agricultural Show.
The MEP who is currently drafting the report on unfair trading practices said all parts of the chain must receive fair remuneration for their work and effort.
“Anything that prevents this from happening must be stamped out and account must be taken by retailers and others in the food supply chain of the vulnerability of food production and farm incomes to unfair trading practices.
“Farmers who are at the very start of the chain have no power to set prices but remain subject to the prices offered to them by the players higher up the food supply chain,” she said.
In several member states of the European Union, Governments have taken action to address this issue, she said.
“I believe it would be better if this action was co-ordinated at EU level so that producers across the EU understood that they were protected from unfair trading practices.
The Mullingar Show attracts people from all over Ireland. Ms McGuinness said:. “For over 150 years the Mullingar Agricultural Show has supported agriculture and industry in Westmeath and throughout the Midlands.”
The show included pedigree and commercial cattle and sheep showing, horse and pony showing with a large entry in show-jumping. There were classes for poultry and a vibrant dog show with horticulture and cookery well-represented in the indoor section along with arts, crafts and photography.
There was a large trade stand presence with stands reflecting all aspects of country and town life and living – from jodhpurs to jewellery, wellies to wine and food to fire extinguishers.
It was held at the Showgrounds, Culleen, Mullingar.