McCormack says Agricultural Council’s report highlights “extremely coy” approach to retailer pressure
Commenting on the Agricultural Council’s report on the dairy market, the Deputy President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack, said his organisation concurred with the opinion expressed that the most recent market rally would continue into the autumn. Mr McCormack was however much more outspoken on what he termed the Report’s “extremely coy” approach to the undoubted pressures being exerted by the giant continental multiples.
“ICMSA, and dairy farmers in general, will be greatly irritated to see a continuation of the Commission’s inexplicable and extremely coy attitude to the necessity of introducing some degree of workable regulation and supervision of the price chain from farm gate to cash register. There’s little or no point in the Commission agreeing with farmers, and all other credible sector analysts, that extremes of volatility are hugely damaging if they still find themselves unable – or, more likely, unwilling – to take on the regulatory role that would certainly help in dealing with some element of this volatility. If the family farm system is still the EU’s desired model than the absolute minimum requirement needed is some form of supervision of the price and margin chain so that family farms are not thrown to the mercies of gigantic multiples, who wield such power that they effectively name their own prices and protect their own margins at the expense of the other components in the supply chain. It’s just not good enough for Commission officials to wring their hands and complain about ‘retailer pressure’ and the negative effects such pressure has on the food producers and then not do anything about it. If they’ve finally accepted that it exists – and we’ve been saying for decades now that it does – then the Commission is obliged to do something about it. The European Milk Board (EMB) has put forward detailed proposals concerning the introduction and purpose of a monitoring agency to exist at EU level and which will examine the price and margin being taken by the various components in the supply chain and address such abuses as occur. This is the way to proceed and if the Commission is serious about eliminating unnecessary volatility and protecting the family farm system – as it says it is – then this is the way to do it”, said Mr McCormack.
Ends. 20 July 2012.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Deputy President, ICMSA, and Chairman of the Dairy Committee