New EU rules to improve food market price transparency in the meat and dairy industries have been signed into law by Minister for Agriculture and Food Charlie McConalogue.
The new changes build on existing price reporting obligations to provide more information on prices at each stage of the food supply chain.
Mr McConalogue’s department said that while there is a large amount of information available about farm gate prices, volumes and stocks, and the prices paid by consumers at retail level, there is limited information about prices at other stages of the chain.
One example cited where there is limited information was the prices at which processors sell product and the prices at which retailers buy product.
The enhanced reporting requirements for Ireland apply to both the meat and dairy sectors. In advance of the implementation of these new changes at EU level, the department has provided additional detailed price reporting on the Beef PriceWatch app.
Additionally, as part of the work of the Beef TaskForce, Bord Bia developed a beef market price index model, which is updated weekly on its website.
The index shows the relationship between the Irish beef price and a composite export benchmark price, which reflects the relative importance of key markets for Irish beef, as well as an index of wholesale and retail prices.
“I am committed to bringing Increased market transparency to all elements of the supply chain,” said Mr McConalogue .
“I believe increased price reporting to be an important tool, along with other initiatives including the Unfair Trading Practices (UTP) legislation and support for producer organisations, in strengthening the position of primary producers, who are key to the success of our sector.
“My department is progressing the drafting of legislation needed to establish the new Office of the Food Ombudsman or equivalent, which will have a specific role in analysing and reporting on price and market data in Ireland, as well as enforcing the UTP Directive.
“I intend that the new office will build on existing work on market transparency, including the market transparency studies commissioned by my department as part of the work of the Beef Taskforce, which have been completed and published.”