MINISTER for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) announced that the Cabinet has approved a Bill to establish a new independent statutory authority - the Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri-Food Supply Chain.

Minister McConalogue said: “I am acutely aware of the importance of ensuring that there is fairness in the agricultural and food supply chain for farmers, fishers and other food suppliers. A viable and resilient agri-food sector, in particular for primary producers, is a key priority for me as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and for the Government. Events of recent weeks reminded us all of the fragility of the agri-food supply chain, and it is now more important than ever to ensure that there is an independent voice to promote and indeed enforce, the principles of fairness and transparency in that chain.

“This new Office will bring greater transparency all along the agricultural and food supply chain. It will do this by performing a price and market analysis and reporting function – publishing reports on price and market information on all sectors in the agri-food supply chain. It will engage with retailers, processors, wholesalers, farmers, fishers, and others on matters effecting fairness and transparency in the agri-food supply chain.

“The Office will also, as the State’s designated Unfair Trading Practices Enforcement Authority, be responsible for ensuring that buyers in the agri-food supply chain do not implement unfair practices in their business-to-business relationships with suppliers. The new Office will be an advocate for farmers and fishers and other small food businesses in the agricultural and food supply chain to help them improve their position and to bring greater transparency and fairness all along the supply chain.”