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IFA ‘looks forward’ to working with new food regulator

Earlier this month, the IFA warned that field vegetable growers will continue to leave the sector “unless the government regulates our food chain and retailers”



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1 June 2023

IFA president Tim Cullinan has  Niamh Lenehan as CEO of the new Agri Food Regulator.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has welcomed Niamh Lenehan’s appointment as  CEO of the new Agri Food Regulator .

Welcoming the appointment, it said it looks forward to engaging with Lenehan on behalf of farmers, in particular those in the fresh produce sectors, who are so reliant on the retail sector.

This new state body tasked with regulating the food supply chain, An Rialálaí Agrabhia, will play a very important role in bringing fairness back into our food supply chain and level the playing pitch in negotiations between farmers, processors and retailers.

The Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Bill 2022 is still not through the Oireachtas.

IFA has made submissions to strengthen the proposed legislation, and the priority must be that the Bill passes all stages and the new office is operating as soon as possible.

As part of her new role, Lenehan will take over as head of the unfair trading practices Enforcement Authority. This is an important role in ensuring that food retailers, food processors and all those involved in buying food produce from farmers comply with the unfair trading practices directive.

The IFA president Tim Cullinan paid tribute to the previous head of the UTP Enforcement Authority, Noel Collins, and thanked him for his work and engagement with IFA and farmers over the last two years.

Welcoming Lenehan to the role, Cullinan said: “Her appointment comes at a time when farmers were never more in need of a voice and regulation to stand up for their livelihoods in an ever more dysfunctional food supply chain. Today’s food supply chain is dominated by a small number of big players at retail level.  Their dominance is determining the livelihoods and future of farmers and food producers.”

Earlier this month, the IFA has warned that field vegetable growers will continue to leave the sector “unless the government regulates our food chain and retailers.”

“There was never a more urgent need for the Food Regulator to be in place to ensure fairness and transparency,” said Cullinan. “Fewer than 100 commercial field vegetable growers are left. More will leave.”

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