DMG co-op to supply directly to public
Dublin Meath Growers plan to sell directly to consumers following de-lisitng by Tesco Ireland
15 November 2009
Dublin Meath Growers (DMG), the producer group from which Tesco controversially withdrew its business earlier this year, is now “planning for the future.”
Despite the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment calling on the retailer to reverse its move, Colm Warren, a voluntary member of DMG has said he would “doubt it very much” that this will happen. Instead, the group is currently examining supplying directly to customers and is selling at “established farmers markets” across the country.
While Warren stressed that volumes will “take time to build,” and Tesco’s decision has had serious consequences, he said the company was in “an ongoing development position” and would be able to reveal more in the next “four or five weeks.”
He also confirmed selling directly via the internet was one of several options being considered.
Meanwhile, Tesco has defended itself against claims by the Oireachtas committee that transporting Irish-grown produce 100km to the North for processing and back again for sale made “no economic sense.”
According to Tesco Ireland, all produce grown by Tesco’s Irish growers, with the exception of broccoli, is processed and packaged by the company’s new distributor, Total Produce, in Swords. Broccoli, which it claims is processed in the North because the only modern grading machine is there, represents less than 2% of volumes.
Tesco also insists DMG legitimately lost out following a competitive tendering process involving six companies.
However, Warren had previously accused the multiple of being “totally ruthless” in The Irish Times. Last November, just two months after DMG had finished building a €5 million facility based on demand from Tesco, the multiple pulled out, which allegedly left the processor owing more than €600,000 in outstanding obligations to individual growers.