Ahead of the two biggest shopping weekends of the year, IFA president Joe Healy has warned retailers against discounting fresh produce in the run-up to Christmas.
“Using farm produce as a tool to drive footfall undermines Irish production and the financial viability of specialist growers and producers," Joe Healy states. "Farmers have invested hugely in their businesses to ensure sufficient supplies of fresh Irish produce for Christmas. Retailers have to respect this investment.”
Launching IFA’s Christmas Food Producers’ campaign on a farm in north Dublin that grows parsnips, cauliflower and cabbage, Joe Healy said it’s been a very tough year, with significant extra costs because of the drought conditions during the summer. “At the time, retailers supported growers because they understood the pressures that existed. We are asking for retailers to show similar backing between now and Christmas”.
“Let’s remember that when Ireland was hit by a snowstorm last March, supermarket shelves immediately ran out of milk and bread – two products that Irish consumers expect to be available.”
IFA has denounced the unsustainable discounting of fresh milk by retailers. Milk at 65c-67c/l is less than it costs to produce, process and put on the shelf.
Joe Healy said the Grocery Goods regulations introduced in 2016 totally neglected to address unsustainable discounting, and he re-iterated IFA’s call on the Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys to introduce an independent retail regulator.