By FWi staff

PRICE-FIXING of farm inputs is eroding incomes and must be tackled, the governments new inputs taskforce has been told.

The Country Land and Business Association says anti-competitive behaviour by agricultural suppliers is a big contributor to farmings recession.

Cartels, collusion, price discrimination and “less than fully competitive behaviour” are adding to farmers problems, says the CLA.

“These issues merit the closest examination,” says policy director, Allan Buckwell.

He hopes the taskforce will investigate whether there is enough evidence to justify a referral to the Office of Fair Trading.

On Tuesday (16 January), he and other CLA policy advisers told the taskforce, established as a result of the Downing Street Summit, that a range of suppliers selling goods like farm machinery, agrochemicals, and fertilisers, as well as animal feed and seeds, should be investigated.

The impact of high input costs should not be underestimated.

“The CLA will be working closely with the taskforce to ensure the government acts swiftly, says Prof Buckwell.