FF to create ‘national food ombudsman’ if in Government

Fianna Fáil has committed to establishing an independent national food ombudsman to “protect the position of the primary producer”, if it gets into Government.

Following comments made on the campaign trail today, Monday, January 20, by party leader Micheál Martin, a party spokesperson, in a statement to AgriLand, said that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) was not adequately regulating the food-supply chain.

“Farmers have lost confidence in the current system and the competition regulator to oversee all stakeholders in the food supply chain and ensure fairness,” the spokesperson said.

We need a new body to provide oversight and transparency in the food supply chain with real legislative teeth for the sector.

“If in Government, Fianna Fáil will protect the position of the primary producer in law, and establish an independent office of a national food ombudsman,” the party spokesperson continued.

Such a body “would enforce new EU laws on unfair trading practices and have the power to issue penalties when rules are broken”, the statement explained.

Fianna Fáil, along with all other parties, is continuing on the campaign trail, in the run up to the General Election on Saturday, February 8.

Social Justice Ireland

In other election-related news, Social Justice Ireland has issued a briefing for rural Ireland in the run up to the General Election, highlighting some of the major issues facing rural areas.

In its briefing, the organisations said that the type of rural Ireland “we should be planning for” is one where there are “viable rural communities in all parts of Ireland where people have access to meaningful work, adequate incomes and decent services and infrastructure”.

The briefing goes on to highlight some problems and issues in rural areas, including the fact that these parts of the country generally have: higher rates of part-time employment; lower median incomes; higher dependency ratios; and higher poverty rates.