The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has been urged to “review the powers” of the Agri-Food Regulator to ensure that family farm incomes are protected.

In a parliamentary question posed by the Sinn Féin TD for Mayo, Rose Conway-Walsh, the minister was asked to detail his current position on the regulator’s powers.

In his response to Deputy Conway-Walsh, Minister Charlie McConalogue said that the regulator’s primary role is to promote fairness and transparency throughout the agricultural and food supply chain.

The Agri-Food Regulator or An Rialálaí Agraibhia was formally establised last December following the enactment of the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain Act 2023.


The minister highlighted to Deputy Conway-Walsh that the act specifically directs the regulator to consider the “circumstances and needs of farming businesses, fishing businesses, and small food businesses” in carrying out its responsibilities.

In relation to its current powers he also said that the regulator is “equipped to effectively enforce actions” against unfair trading practices, such as addressing late payments and sudden cancellations by buyers.

In addition to this the regulator has a role in analysing and publishing information about price and market data relating to the agricultural and food supply chain. 

Agri-Food Regulator

Farm organisations have repeatedly warned about the disparity between the price they receive and the price on Irish supermarket shelves and which the consumer ultimately pays.

Farmers have also voiced concerns about the supermarket practice of discounting Irish home grown and produced food.

Previously the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) acknowledged that the Agri-Food Regulator had “an opportunity to make a real difference” in the sector.

But according to the president of the ICMSA, Denis Drennan, farmers also need to see “results” from the Agri-Food Regulator’s office.

The minister told Deputy Conway-Walsh that since it was established the Agri-Food Regulator has “engaged in a range of activities to promote and enforce fairness and transparency in the agricultural and food supply chain for the benefit of farmers and others”.

“I do not see any reason at this time to review the powers of the Agri-Food Regulator under the act or regulations made under the act,” he told the deputy.