ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed reports that EU Agriculture commissioner-designate Phil Hogan will give serious consideration to the appointment of a Food Ombudsman as a way of ensuring a better balance within Europe’s agri-food chain.
“ICSA has long been calling for regulation of the meat industry at EU level, and it was encouraging to hear Mr. Hogan tell MEPs that he will take a very close interest in the trading practices of Europe’s leading food retailers over the coming years,” said Mr. Kent. “The commissioner-designate also acknowledged that there might be a need for enforcement legislation if existing voluntary codes are not adhered to, and this is something that Minister Coveney should be looking at in relation to the Irish meat industry.”
However, the ICSA president also sounded a note of caution. “We have heard promises before, and they have not always been acted upon. Farmers need to see Phil Hogan taking real and meaningful action to readjust the balance of power in the agri-food sector in favour of the primary producers, and this action must happen sooner rather than later,” he concluded.