Lidl rejects IFA criticism over pricing
Lidl has strongly defended its relationship with farmers, despite the Irish Farmers' Association describing the supermarket chain as "two-faced."
Lidl's managing director in Ireland JP Scally yesterday defended the chain's record in dealing with farmers as it became the first company to announce that it would pay all of its staff a so-called 'Living Wage' of €11.50 per hour.
Tanaiste Joan Burton and Labour Minister Ged Nash heralded the decision of Lidl to pay the Living Wage.
However, IFA president Eddie Downey said small farmers were being driven out of work by undervaluing produce.
Mr Scally said the company's suppliers are satisfied: "We currently deal with over 200 Irish suppliers that would have started out quite small, some as artisan suppliers 10 years ago, and have continued to grow."
"So we have a fantastic relationship with our suppliers, many of whom were present at the Ploughing Championships a couple of weeks back and were able to meet with the public and explained how proud they were of the working relationship they have with Lidl," he said.
"We can only speak for our own business, but certainly we have suppliers who are extremely proud and delighted of the relationship they have with us," Mr Scally added.