Carthy slams Hogan rejection of plea on behalf of poultry farmers
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has sharply criticised EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan's rejection of an extension of the derogation for the marketing of free range eggs.
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee said the decision would adversely effect thousands of Irish poultry farmers.
Matt Carthy said:
“Last month I wrote to the Commissioner urging special provision to made for the thousands of poultry farmers in Ireland affected by the compulsory housing order.
"In a letter I received this week the Commissioner has unequivocally ruled out any such provisions.
"This means that on from March 17th, thousands of poultry farmers will lose their ‘free range’status.”
“Not only will this have an effect on costs for farmers and the prices they can demand for their product, but it will affect consumer-producer confidence as consumers see trusted brands change packaging and labels.
“In his letter, the Commissioner has argues that the costs of relabeling and reduced prices are just “immediate interests”.
This is extremely short-sighted and shows that the lack of empathy we have seen all along for farmers’ position in the food supply chain.
"Farmers have no control over the management of their animals, no control over prices and no control to bargain themselves out of this impossible situation.
“I am urging Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed TD to come forward with alternative solutions immediately.
"An official over-lay sticker, funded by the Department of Agriculture, must be designed to ensure that these farmers don’t lose the trust of their customers and income they have come to expect from producing high-quality products.”