The Green Party has warned that the proposed Sainsburys – Asda merger is likely to have a serious knock-on effect on Irish agriculture, and has called for Bord Bía to outline their response.
Sainsbury's confirmed this morning that it has agreed terms for a £12bn merger with Walmart-owned Asda.
The duo - the UK's number two and three supermarkets - said that the unified group would have combined revenues of £51bn and boast a network of 2,800 Sainsbury's, Asda and Argos stores.
Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson on Agriculture Pippa Hackett said that the UK is one of Ireland’s biggest export markets, and the proposed merger posed a real threat to our beef and dairy sector.
“This is potentially a huge blow to Irish farmers," she said. "This merger effectively reduces our market in the UK from three buyers to two, and could be as significant as Brexit itself on the Irish agriculture sector.
“Although the merging companies have promised to keep stores open, there will be cost-cutting measures, and these are likely to come from consolidated distribution and the supply chain.
"This will generate massive pressures on the likes of beef and cheddar exports, and we all know who will end up absorbing the cost of that - Irish farmers.
“Bord Bía need to reassure our food producers that they will increase their efforts to ensure that this merger will not have negative consequences for sales of Irish food in the UK," she said.
- Digital Desk and Press Association