Farmers give away free vegetables in protest at store price war
Published 20/12/2013 | 02:30
FARMERS have taken to the streets to give away free vegetables in protest at supermarket price wars which they say will undermine their livelihoods.
Around 250 farmers descended on Dunnes Stores in Dublin's St Stephen's Green shopping centre to purchase trolley-loads of carrots and parsnips priced at just 6c a bag which they then proceeded to hand out to bemused shoppers.
Irish Farmers Association president John Bryan said they wanted to highlight the "ludicrous" price war between supermarkets which has driven prices to rockbottom levels at Dunnes, Lidl and Aldi.
Prices include 500g of Brussels sprouts, parsnips or clementines for 6c at Dunnes and 5c for a bag of potatoes, onions and carrots at Lidl.
Mr Bryan said all growers wanted was a fair price to cover their costs and give them a reasonable margin.
"We're not looking for big profits, we just want to ensure growers have a livelihood from their work into the future," he said.
Potato and vegetable grower Shane Howell, from Killeigh in Co Offaly, said this should be the busiest week of his year, but his sales had been decimated as the small grocery stores he supplied couldn't compete with the might of the multiples slashing prices.
"There'd normally be articulated trucks coming in and out for supplies but instead it's all quiet and business is down €25,000 on what it should be this week," he said.