O’Neill Meets With Farmers For Action To Discuss Farm Gate Prices
DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill met with representatives of Farmers For Action (FFA) to discuss their proposal for legislation on local farm gate prices.
Following the meeting at Parliament Buildings at Stormont the Minister said she wanted to see a profitable and sustainable farming industry, but also that she also had to operate within the guidelines set by the European Community.
Minister O’Neill said: “Today’s meeting with Farmers for Action provided me with an opportunity to hear the FFA’s views on this important issue. They have real concerns about how the food chain operates and I, like the FFA, want to see farmers getting a fair share of the rewards. Farmers do a sterling job and form the backbone of our rural economy. It is therefore very important to me that their businesses are viable.
“As the European Community has established a common organisation of the market for most of the agricultural produce from our farms, I am constrained as regards any action which I can take in relation to establishing some form of mechanism to guarantee minimum prices. However I am determined to support our local farmers and I will use every power available to me to promote fair treatment and profitability of the primary producer within the food supply chain.”
As regards improving the lot of farmers the Minister said: “A key theme of the Agri-Food Strategy Report “Going for Growth” is that all parts of the supply chain should be sustainable and profitable. That includes farmers and I will continue to work with my Executive colleagues to help support the industry’s plans for expansion. My aim is that farmers will have a better future.”