Almost 90% of consumers believe that legislation should be introduced to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their food from supermarkets, according to a new Ipsos/MRBI survey.

The study, which was commissioned by Agri Aware, also found that two-thirds of consumers believe supermarkets do not treat farmers fairly when buying their produce.

Leading supermarkets in Ireland engaged in a vegetable price war just before Christmas.

It saw products such as carrots being sold for as little as 5c per kilo, a fraction of what it costs farmers to produce them.

The agricultural community was outraged, although the National Consumer Agency said that it was good for consumers.

However, the survey suggests that consumers were far from impressed.

It finds that two-thirds believe that farm families are not treated fairly by the supermarkets.

Almost nine out of ten consumers said the Government should legislate to ensure farmers receive a fair price.

Although consumers were gifted with almost free vegetables at the time, the survey suggests that nearly two-thirds of them say that these price promotions are not good for consumers in the long run.

It found that 79% said that quality is more important than price.