Below Cost Selling

Farmers Cannot Take Hit in Retail Price War

IFA President Tim Cullinan said farmers would be very sceptical about the latest publicity blitz by some retailers claiming to champion consumers with lower prices.

“If the retailers want to engage in combat for customers, it cannot be at the expense of farmers and producers. The idea that primary producers can afford to take a lower price flies in the face of higher input costs. The food chain cannot survive if relentless pressure is piled on those who produce the food,” he said.

The IFA President warned against the chasing of cheap headlines in the pursuit of market share. “It costs money to deliver quality food to supermarket shelves. This has to be recognised by giving a fair margin to those who put in the work and investment on the ground. Pretending that it can be done for less is not serving anybody,” he said.

He said targeting fresh food is just too easy an option that retailers have to avoid. “Retailers know that consumers go shopping for food, but farmers and producers cannot be in the frontline of another retail war.  Retailers cannot use their dominant position in the food chain to reduce farmers margins while protecting their own.  This imbalance in power in our food supply chain is something that the new Agri-Food Regulator must investigate and act upon,” he concluded.

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