The IFA has received confirmation that the Department of Agriculture is to write to all farmers who had lodged appeals against penalties imposed because hill land was burned last year, the Association’s Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy said.
The farming organisation has been insistent that no penalties should be levied on farmers in the absence of concise evidence that the landowner was responsible for setting the fire and the IFA will be giving its support to farmers in their appeals through the provision of affidavits where evidence exists to establish that they were not responsible for the burning.
“Every single time anyone has suggested a more fair food supply chain that takes the whip out of the hand of the supermarkets, the corporations who operate those chains have muttered about how that will cause the retail price to rise and annoy consumers. They’ll try that this time and it’s up to everyone - the European Commission, politicians, farm organisations and small to medium-sized processors – to stand together and defy their threats. This announcement isn’t the end of the matter; it’s not even the beginning of the end but it’s the first signal that the dictatorship of the corporate retailers might be coming to an end. We should all, including consumers, give thanks,” the President of the ICMSA Pat McCormack said as he greeted the announcement that unfair trade practices in food are to be confronted.
The EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, in a speech to the COM Agri meeting in Brussels on Thursday last was “a positive first step” in rectifying some of the abuses that are evident in the sector and which have brought huge pressure to bear upon the people who stand at the bottom of the pyramid, the food producers, he added.