Surely Not...

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
Pádraig Walshe, president of the IFA - Irish Farmers Association – has claimed that supermarkets' use of “predatory pricing” is as great a threat to farming as climate change, or the WTO – World Trade Organisation.
Well, well, who would have believed that a leader of the IFA would talk knowledgeably about what is actually going on down on the farm for real farmers.
Maybe Mr Walshe heard reports about the atmosphere at a meeting we spoke at early last year, when we listened to farmers in Northern Ireland. These fine gentlemen were, quite simply, suicidal. All of them.
“Why do we get 20 pence per pound less for our beef than people in the U.K. when we produce a better product?” they pleaded of the man from the supermarket.
“Ah well, nothing to do with me, that's just the way the market is”, said the man from the supermarket. Of course: the market...
Or maybe Mr Walshe got some feed back about the time when, as part of a Taste Council campaign, we put our case to the Dail hearing on the Groceries Order, a fight we unfortunately lost. Maybe he heard the North Dublin vegetable growers talk about their relationship with the supermarket. Myself and my Taste Council colleagues on that day, Ross Lewis of Chapter One and Peter Ward of Country Choice, all agreed after listening to the growers that their relationship with the supermarket wasn't one of master and servant.
The relationship was one of master and slave.
Irish farmers belong in markets all right: Farmer's Markets, not supermarkets.
Maybe, at last, a president of the IFA finally understands this. More power to Mr Walshe.