NFU President Meurig Raymond has joined a panel of experts to argue for mandatory price reporting and clearer market data, during a hearing in the European Parliament.
The NFU believes that current agricultural commodity price data published by the government and the European Commission is outdated and lacks the accuracy required to support farm-level business decisions.
In addition, the NFU says there is minimal data published on the prices of agri-food products across the supply chain, leading to a lack of clarity on factors which impact farm-gate prices.
Mr Raymond presented the farming perspective at a hearing organised by the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee to scrutinise the recommendations of the Agricultural Markets Task Force (AMTF).
Mr Raymond said that greater transparency through publicly available prices across the supply-chain would provide an opportunity to better understand the drivers of value and price, in turn encouraging greater collaboration and trust while providing farmers with the tools to better understand their target market.
“As the farmers’ representative on the High Level Forum for the Better Functioning of the Food Supply Chain, and on behalf of the 55,000 members of the NFU, I welcome the many suggestions made by the Agricultural Markets Taskforce. Having provided a wealth of data to the AMTF, I am pleased that many of the NFU’s asks have been taken on board,” he said.
“The task force’s suggestion that price reporting should be made mandatory firmly reflects the NFU’s position and I strongly urge Commissioner Hogan to put this into practice.”
The NFU has often raised the issue of the ‘black hole’ in market data at the processor-buyer end of the supply chain which stifles trust, collaboration and the development of market risk management tools.
Mr Raymond added: “Mandatory price reporting offers an opportunity to tackle these issues and foster the development of strong relationships between farmers as well as throughout the supply chain.
“Clear priority must also be given to efforts to harmonise market data. The commission has made progress in creating market observatories to analyse market information but this needs to be sharpened up if farmers are to see a genuine benefit.”
Mr Raymond was sitting alongside Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and member of the Agricultural Markets Taskforce, Helfried Giesen. Mr Raymond was invited to speak at the hearing due to his position on the High Level Forum for the Better Functioning of the Food Supply Chain.