Retailers have been urged by the Irish Farmers’ Association to recognise the investment made by the country’s salad growers.
IFA president Joe Healy said retailers can do so by ensuring that Irish produce is seen on their shelves as a premium quality product and not used as a loss leader in price wars.
He issued the plea at the launch of the inaugural National Summer Salads Week, which began yesterday in conjunction with Bord Bia.
Ireland’s 75 salad crop growers produce crops worth €45m at the farm gate, with tomatoes and lettuce accounting for €15m of this figure.
The area grown under protection (glass-houses/tunnels) is 190 hectares while outdoor production makes up 250 hectares.
Mr Healy said these growers, who employ more than 600 people, have made sizable capital investments on their farms and now provides some lines from mid-March to November.
“Sales of salads are growing in volume but declining in value as they face relentless downward price pressure in the retail wars,” he said.
Mr Healy called on consumers to support Irish produce and to check for country of origin when buying produce.
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