Farmers' anger as supermarkets cut the price of potatoes to less than 50c

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President, Joe Healy has said he is concerned at the recent discounting of potatoes by a number of retailers in the run up to Christmas, saying these promotions can have a detrimental effect on what is a fragile market.

A number of major retailers are running high profile promotions on vegetables at present with prices for key vegetables including potatoes running as low as 49c/kg.

Healy warned retailers that IFA would hold them directly responsible for any negative consequences for potato growers that may arise from these practices.

“Christmas should be a time when potato growers benefit from the seasonal demand for potatoes”.

He questioned the reasoning for promoting the vegetable at a time of year when consumption was at its peak.

With potato production levels in Ireland and across Europe at very low levels this year, Joe Healy said it was unacceptable to be discounting product when the market was in balance.

“This again illustrates the scant disregard which some retailers have for the primary producer of Quality Assured Irish grown product.

“Their sole aim is to drive footfall with no appreciation of the impact which these retail practices have further down the supply chain.”

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Finally Joe Healy urged retailers to recognise and respect the massive investment potato growers have made in machinery and cold storage to ensure a continuous twelve-month supply of Irish product.

“Potatoes must be sold as a premium product and not be used in practices which undermine the primary producer”.

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