Following discussions with the (Irish Farmers' Association) IFA, SuperValu has agreed to put financial supports in place for a number of existing growers of vegetable crops in light of the negative impact by the recent heatwave on the farming community.
"Growers of broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, kale, parsnips, leeks, carrots, scallions and swedes will be benefit from the scheme, with all costs covered by SuperValu," the company said in a statement.
Joe Healy, president, IFA has welcomed the statement by SuperValu confirming that they are putting financial supports in place for their existing growers of field vegetable crops.
“IFA recently publicised the challenges facing the agriculture sector due to the prolonged drought, which has created unsustainable business conditions for many farmers," Healy said.
"We contacted retailers to highlight that without their intervention, Irish field vegetable growers were at financial breaking point. We acknowledge the lead taken by SuperValu in coming out publicly and stepping up to the mark to put financial supports in place to provide vital relief to their growers.”
Supporting Vegetable Growers
The commitment has been put in place due to SuperValu’s ongoing loyalty to Irish suppliers and as the leading supporter of the Irish vegetable growing sector, the retailer outlined in the statement.
“We are very mindful of the recent heatwave and the enormous impact that it has had on the Irish farming community and potential threat to supply of Irish vegetables for consumers," said Martin Kelleher, managing director, SuperValu.
"Following discussions with the IFA, we have agreed to step in and put financial supports in place for our growers of key crops which will help to offset the toll on the Irish farming community.”
'Act Without Delay'
IFA pointed out that growers have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to maintain a supply of quality Irish produce to Irish consumers.
The IFA president reported that some other retailers had moved to support growers and he called on all retailers to 'act without delay' by increasing grower returns across the board on all Irish vegetable lines.
“Irish growers are operating on very tight margins, which leave no scope to absorb a crisis like this, and without substantial support from retailers, 2018 will push many of our growers over the edge,” Joe Healy warned.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.