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Farmers Market set ups must be properly funded and supported by government - Doherty

7 December, 2007


Speaking during a Seanad debate yesterday Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty said planning law should include the need for farmers’ markets in new retail developments.

 

The Donegal Senator added:

 

“Specific funding should be allocated to set up and fund such markets which must be run on the co-operative principle (jointly-owned, democratically controlled enterprise – united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs) by the local communities in which those markets are sited

 

“Sinn Féin elected representatives and members are committed to supporting the establishment of farmers’ markets as a means of gaining better returns for producers and higher quality and value for consumers

 

“A farmer in North County Dublin recently relayed the experience of being told by a big supermarket chain that he must grow, pick and deliver his lettuces to them for 40 per cent a head. If he did not like that then they would simply import them from abroad – and all this when they were selling them for €1.60 a head

 

“Sinn Féin will act as strong advocates for Irish farmers and proactively plan to ensure a viable and sustainable future for Irish agriculture. We have demonstrated the depth of our commitment by selecting the Agriculture Ministry in the northern Assembly over other competing priorities

 

“In our 26 County General Election Manifesto “Equality for Rural Communities” – we proposed a series of measures to secure fair payment for farmers including support for the formation of farmers co-operatives for domestic production, processing and retailing, and the extension of farmers markets to circumvent the grip of the large processors and retailers that squeeze producers’ incomes

 

“Products at farmers’ markets are renowned for being locally-grow, very fresh and GM-free. Such practice reduces pollution, saves fossil fuels, allows farmers to pick produce its freshest and nutritionally at its best for consumers.” CRÍOCH

 

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