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aldi is killing the vegetable sector, say farmers

Supermarkets are going to kill off Irish vegetable producers if they don't change their ways the IFA has warned.

IFA president Eddie Downey said that In most cases, "returns to growers are now at or below the cost of production, leaving no margin for re-investment, weather issues or variable yields".

"Growers can no longer take the price reductions being sought by Aldi who have imposed on average a 10pc cut in the farm-gate price of main line vegetables, including cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, swedes, scallions and leeks year-on-year," he added.

Mr Downey was speaking to protesters, pictured above, who had gathered outside the Aldi Headquarters and Distribution Centre in Naas, Co Kildare.

He was joined by IFA vegetable committee chairman Matt Foley.

"Aldi is the sole customer for many of the country's specialised vegetable growers, who have committed to long-term land leases and have invested in specialised machinery. To maximise efficiency, some of these growers now specialise in only one product line," Mr Foley said.

"Committed growers need to make an economic margin above the cost of production to remain in business and re-invest for the future," Mr Foley added.

There was no Aldi spokesperson available to comment at the time of going to press.