The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has indicated its support for the Ulster Farmers Union rally at Stormont.
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts who attended the rally said: “Commissioner Hogan and the European Commission need to accept the seriousness of the position facing all parts of the local farming and food industry at Monday’s meeting of EU agriculture ministers.
“NIIRTA strongly encourages its members to sell milk, meat, poultry and other products at a price that is fair to both the farmer and consumer. Our members source nearly one hundred percent of their meat and poultry from local farmers and processors and are committed to sourcing as much food as they can locally.
“DARD needs to do more to improve communication and partnership across the entire Agri-Food Supply Chain in Northern Ireland. We repeat our call for Minister O’Neill to bring together the key players in Wholesale, Retail, Production, Processing and Farming in a new Partnership Forum to address the challenges facing the Supply Chain.
“Such a partnership approach can only be positive for all concerned and is a move away from the crisis management approach to challenges in the supply chain that we have seen in recent years. NIIRTA has had excellent meetings with Fair Price Farming NI, Assembly ARD Committee Chair and the Agri-Food Board to discuss new partnership opportunities.
“With 2016 being the Year of Food, we have an excellent opportunity to showcase the very best of our produce to local and international consumers and begin to grow the Agri-Food sector in a sustainable way.”