Most consumers against vegetable price wars

Support for legislation to protect food producers from sharp practice by supermarkets

When asked by the Ipsos/MRBI survey if the below-cost selling of vegetables before Christmas was good for consumers in the long term, some 64 per cent said it was not. Some 66 per cent of those surveyed said retail multiples did not treat farm families fairly when buying their produce.

When asked by the Ipsos/MRBI survey if the below-cost selling of vegetables before Christmas was good for consumers in the long term, some 64 per cent said it was not. Some 66 per cent of those surveyed said retail multiples did not treat farm families fairly when buying their produce.

 



Just three in 10 people believe the sale of cheap vegetables has long-term benefits for consumers, new research by Agri Aware, the agri-food educational body, has found.

When asked by the Ipsos/MRBI survey if the below-cost selling of vegetables before Christmas was good for consumers in the long term, some 64 per cent said it was not. Some 66 per cent of those surveyed said retail multiples did not treat farm families fairly when buying their produce.

In December, Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes Stores were carrots and onions for as little as 5 cent a kilo. They insisted they were covering the cost of the promotion, but the Irish Farmers’ Association claimed farmers would pay for it and it staged protests.

However, National Consumer Agency chief executive Karen O’Leary described the price war as positive.

The Agri Aware survey of more than 1,000 people also found almost 88 per cent of people think legislation should be introduced to ensure food producers get a fair price from supermarkets. A Bill expected to address this issue has been promised by the Government.

Agri Aware chairman Bernard Donohue said it was clear the public was very much behind the introduction of new legislation to ensure that retailers pay a fair price to farmers for quality produce.

“Following the vegetable price war at Christmas, the National Consumer Agency described this as positive, yet this Agri Aware survey clearly demonstrates that the Irish public expect retailers to treat farm families fairly,” he said.

The Agri Aware study also asked if quality or price was the most important consideration when buying groceries. Some 79 per cent cited quality. There was a difference between the importance of quality for those working and those unemployed. Some 83 per cent of those working cited quality first compared with 63 per cent of the unemployed.