Supermarkets claim they are bearing full cost of price war
IFA says farmers being coerced into selling produce at unsustainable prices
Between now and Christmas Eve, Lidl is selling one-kilo bags of carrots, potatoes and onions for five cent each, while 500g bags of sprouts and turnips cost the same. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
Supermarkets have insisted they are bearing the full cost of a major price war, which has seen the price of a range of vegetables fall to as low as five cent a kilo in the run-up to Christmas.
However, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has claimed that farmers are being forced to take the hit by being coerced into selling vegetables at unsustainable prices.
Between now and Christmas Eve, Lidl is selling one-kilo bags of carrots, potatoes and onions for five cent each, while 500g bags of sprouts and turnips cost the same.
Aldi, meanwhile, is selling 500g bags of sprouts for six cent while 1kg bags of carrots and 1.5kg bags of potatoes cost the same.
Bearing the cost
Aldi insisted it was bearing the cost of the promotion, not farmers or growers. It said it had “agreed prices with its suppliers that are fair for all parties” and insisted that “generalised allegations” that farmers were being bullied into lowering their prices were “unfounded and not relevant in the case of Aldi”.
It would meet the IFA later this week “to discuss any concerns it may have”.
Paul Brophy of Iverk Produce last night said neither his company nor its suppliers were bearing the cost of the promotion.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said in Brussels yesterday that growers were “right to be concerned” at signs that some supermarkets were forcing down the price of vegetables as part of “an aggressive price war”.
He promised legislation to protect vegetable growers “within weeks, if not days”.