The Green Party has been the first to support the campaign by farmers and vegetable growers to end the practice of below cost selling of vegetables by retail multiples. We should all get behind this campaign. The farmers were right to protest outside Lidl and Aldi stores in Dublin last week.
There needs to be regulation on price. The big stores have an the unfair advantage over small independent retailers and the farmers are losing €1,000 an acre with these stores selling vegetables for little of nothing.
This move by the big four multiples in Ireland will not just cost farming jobs, it will destroy small independent greengrocers and shops as well. The Green Party has said the Government must intervene here and they are right.
Below cost selling of alcohol by the supermarkets has done huge damage both physically and psychologically to this country.
The Green Party wants the practice of below cost promotion and selling to end and that the Department of Agriculture to carry out a thorough investigation of the practice and its implication for food growers and independent retailers.
Nobody really wins in this kind of cut-throat market. The consumers may benefit in the short term, but this practice is undermining the value of our agriculture industry, our biggest industry. In the long term, consumers will end up paying higher prices when we have to import food.
And when we start importing food, because our farmers can’t make a living, this country really is finished.
This practice affects us all.