The Agri-Food Regulator has today (Monday, April 8) called on agri-food businesses to appoint a new liaison officer, if required, ahead of the deadline of mid-June.

Under new unfair trading regulations, which came into effect last December 13, any agri-food buyer whose annual turnover is more than €50 million is required to submit an annual compliance report by the end of March of each year.

Liaison officers are responsible for submitting the annual compliance report to the regulator.

This report must set out compliance by a business with the unfair trading regulations during the year prior.

It must also include “details of any costs borne by a supplier of any discounts on agricultural and food products that are sold by the buyer as part of a promotion”.

Niamh Lenehan, CEO of the regulator said today: “The Agri-Food Regulator was established to promote fairness and transparency in the agri-food supply chain, with a focus on business-to-business relationships.

“This compliance reporting obligation on relevant buyers will facilitate the regulator in overseeing compliance with the unfair trading regulations along the agri-food supply chain”.

Agri-Food Regulator

According to the CEO since the independent statutory office was established under the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain Act 2023 there have been a number of “significant” meetings with businesses and organisations across all stages of the food supply chain.

“We are committed to ensuring that there are open and constructive relationships, and a full understanding of the regulator’s role and remit,” Lenehan added.

Businesses are required to submit a significant amount of information in relation to annual compliance report. This includes:

  • A detailed and accurate account of the compliance reporting buyer’s ongoing implementation of and ongoing compliance with the requirements of the unfair trading regulations;
  • A record of any cancelled orders of perishable products;
  • A record of any returns to the supplier of unsold products.

Businesses are also required to submit a record of any payment by the supplier to the buyer in relation to agricultural and food products for unsold products returned to the supplier or disposed of.

It must supply details of stocking, display and listing, or of making such products available on the market, promotion, advertising, marketing, or staff for fitting-out premises used for the sale of the supplier’s products.