- a blog about food and value

An ombudsman for food?

Irish TimesThe Irish Times reports today that the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Mary Coughlan, has called for the appointment of an ombudsman for food.  The food sector is currently in crisis, with extremely high job losses in the last year, and continuing high costs. There is also the issue, frequently discussed here, of pricing in supermarkets and the shelf space given to Irish producers.

This seems to me like a good initiative: the sector, according to the Times, employs over 200,000 people, in direct jobs, distribution and farming.  Let’s hope that if a food ombudsman is appointed, they receive the necessary cooperation.


  1. Your headline and the Irish Times headline bear no relation to the copy of the Irish Times piece, it does not mention anything about an Ombudsman. The nearest thing is a report of Coughlans mention of a ‘code of practice” between retailers and suppliers etc.

    I’m sorry but the idea is completely daft.

    We have far too many public bodies as it is. Would any code of practice or an Ombudsman for food be able to reduce the minimum wage or any other input significant cost for the industry? Of course not but still the Ombudsman would be on six figure salary with staff in a nice office and all the trimmings and all from taxpayers money.

    I once saw Mary Coughlan on RTE 6 News state that she wanted to see lower prices for consumers but certainly not at the expense of “fair” (aka high) prices for consumers. Buy high and sell low is not a receipe for survival anywhere but in Mary’s dreams.

    This is another instance of such fairy tale ‘genius’.