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Ferris - Farmers will continue to lose in food price wars

12 September, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD has claimed that farmers' income will continue to be squeezed in the aftermath of the abolition of the Groceries Order. Deputy Ferris was commenting on continued controversy regarding the manner in which certain of the multiple retailers have reacted in the aftermath of the move which allows below cost selling.

Deputy Ferris said: "While the question as to whether consumers will benefit from the new situation is debatable, there is no doubt but that farmers will continue to see their margins, and hence their income levels, fall. Dáil replies to questions I have submitted in recent years prove that the share of the retail price received by farmers has steadily declined over the past ten years or more across a range of products.

"We can also be certain that if the multiples do begin to compete with one another through 'below-cost' selling that it will not be at the cost of their own profit margins. They will do so by attempting to further cut the price paid to producers or by substituting Irish food produce for cheaper and less reliable imports. In either case neither Irish farmers nor ultimately consumers will reap the benefit." ENDS

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