|Wexford farmers gave away boxes of Turnips as a protest against underhand below cost marketing tactics.|
Wexford farmers stage a protest over the low-cost selling of Turnips at LidlAs part of a protest against underhand marketing, a group of farmers from Our Lady's Island went into the Lidl store and bought up their entire stock of turnips before handing them out to customers for free.
Retailers such as Lidl and Dunnes Stores are currently offering fresh fruit and vegetables for as little as 5c per item in a price war that has garnered media attention nationally. On the night of the protest, the farmers managed to purchase a total of 77 turnips for just €3.85 at Lidl. The Irish Farmers Associsation (IFA) have said that this will have a devastating effect on smaller fruit and veg shops and will drive down the price of fruit and vegetables, forcing farmers out of business.
'Basically Dunnes and Lidl are selling below cost,' said IFA Potato Chairman for Wexford, Larry Whelan. 'It costs between 40c and 50c to produce these vegetables and then they're selling them off at 5c or 6c. We've no issue if these stores are paying the farmers enough for producing the vegetables and potatoes. The issue is that smaller shops and suppliers don't have the financial might to compete.'
'It will decimate rural communities and local shops. Already this week farmers all over the country have been taking calls from smaller shops and suppliers who say that as a result of this price war, they can't afford to pay as much as they did last week.
Not only will it cost the people working in these shops their jobs, but it will cost people working on the farms and supplying the farms their jobs too. It's time Minister Bruton woke up and saw what's going on in the rural community. A new code of practice for the retail sector is urgently needed.'
The farmers have said that they will continue similar protests in Wexford until the situation is resolved and 'any shop that is selling fruit and veg below cost price will be targeted.'
Sadly Cllr Turnip in Peterborough was not available to comment ...
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