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Agriculture was the backbone of our economy.
It was put to the background during in the Celtic Tiger, but continued to contribute greatly to our economy.
It again may be our best asset in stimulating our economy, if it is encouraged, but, unfortunately, like the fishing industry, it isn’t.
The supermarket price war on vegetables could be detrimental, if the promotional gimmick to get extra footfall is continued, and extended to include other agricultural products.
We all welcome goods at bargain prices, but the present practice is obscene. Naturally, profit is their main aim, but supermarkets ought to have a moral duty to their customers and suppliers alike. The gimmick by supermarkets is not doing the customer any favours and it could also lead to a loss of livelihood for a lot of producers.
These large supermarkets are also damaging farmer’s markets, smaller shops and greengrocers, as they try to compete to attract customers. Customers ought to get their goods at a reasonable price, but the vegetable growers ought to get a realistic price for their produce, in light of the inputs involved and the standards required of them. It is unforgivable that the value of growers is being undermined by unrealistically low prices.
The price war is short-term gain for consumers, but could result in long-term pain. It could lead to vegetable growers going out of business, which would lead to a shortage in homegrown produce. This would mean more imports, where standards and quality control of production cannot be monitored, as is the case with other food imports.
We will all then be at a loss, and the supermarkets will, once again, be in a position to further manipulate the marketplace to our detriment, regarding quality and price.
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