Farmers protest in Dunnes Stores and Lidl over vegetable prices

Thursday 19 December 2013 23.13
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Farmers pledged to buy up all of the fresh produce in Dunnes Stores in the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
Farmers pledged to buy up all of the fresh produce in Dunnes Stores in the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
They protested against the lack of regulation on low-cost selling of fresh food
They protested against the lack of regulation on low-cost selling of fresh food
Vegetables were quickly cleared from the shelves
Vegetables were quickly cleared from the shelves
Around 200 farmers earlier protested outside the offices of Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton
Around 200 farmers earlier protested outside the offices of Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton
The farmers have accused Minister Bruton of 'dithering'
The farmers have accused Minister Bruton of 'dithering'

Farmers have held a number of protests around the country over the low-cost selling of fresh produce in large retailers.

Retailers including Lidl, Aldi, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores are currently offering fresh fruit and vegetables for as little as 5c per item.

Around 200 farmers protested in Dunnes Stores in the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre in Dublin earlier this afternoon.

They pledged to buy up all of the fresh produce being sold for as little as 6c. 

Staff and customers watched as more and more farmers gathered in the store.

Farmers also protested at the Lidl store in Ranelagh.

They arrived by bus from the earlier protest in the city centre and once again bought up the cut-price vegetables in the store.

They then gave those vegetables to passersby to highlight their anger at the ongoing price promotion.

An Irish Farmers' Association spokesperson said a number of other similar actions are taking place at Lidl and Dunnes Stores around the country.

Farmers are calling for regulation to tackle the low-cost selling of fresh food.

They said large retailers are damaging small businesses as they compete to attract customers.

In a statement to RTÉ News, SuperValu said it will absorb the cost of the price cuts currently being offered on some fruit and vegetables in its stores and costs will not be passed on to producers.

Both Lidl and Aldi have confirmed, via separate statements to RTÉ News, that they are not passing the costs of the special offer vegetables back to producers.

Both companies said producers are being paid as normal and the cost of the special offers is being absorbed by the companies.

The IFA has accused Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton of dithering over the regulation of the producer-retailer relationship.

A spokesperson for the minister said the new consumer and competition bill, which will address fairness in the supermarket-producer relationship, is almost finalised and will be published in the coming weeks.

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