Deirdre Clune MEP with IFA President Joe Healy at the National Ploughing Championships. (Pic: Fergal O'Gorman)

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has submitted a Parliamentary Question to the European Commission asking them to clarify when and if they plan on developing legislative initiatives to strengthen the position of farmers within the food supply chain.

She also asked Commissioner Hogan what measures are being considered to enhance the overall sustainability of the food supply chain and to ensure that farmers receive a better and fairer price for their produce. The European Commission now has 6 weeks within which it must officially reply to MEP Clune’s questions.

Speaking from the National Ploughing Championships in Offaly last week, the Ireland South MEP described how farmers are continually squeezed in the food chain, “Farmers in the EU are being squeezed by sectors both in front of and behind them in the food chain on a daily basis. The relative weak position of farmers in the food chain compared to other actors is a long standing issue that requires definitive action to strengthen their position. At a recent informal meeting of EU Agriculture ministers, calls were made for action in dealing more effectively with unfair trading practices. Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has previously called on the Commission to consider the potential value of an EU legislative framework rather than the current self-regulatory system.”

She continued, “It is imperative that the Commission take note of the soundings and messages coming from the farming community. Farmers are sustaining rural Ireland and contributing to Ireland’s continued economic recovery through food and agri-exports. Farmers need a fairer deal and the EU Commission has got to sit up and take notice.”