Irish suppliers account for 40% of Lidl products

A delegation from discounter Lidl appeared before the Oireachtas committee on agriculture
A delegation from discounter Lidl appeared before the Oireachtas committee on agriculture

Discount retailer appears before Oireachtas committee on agriculture



10 May 2013

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Discount supermarket Lidl has trebled its spend on Irish products since 2009, with growth set to continue "apace". The Oireachtas committee on agriculture heard the retailer currently employs 3,059 people across 140 locations in Ireland.

At present, almost 40% of Lidl’s grocery range is sourced from 159 Irish suppliers and manufacturers covering categories such as fresh meat and poultry; cooked and breakfast meats; dairy, fruit, and vegetables; breads; cakes; eggs; spring water; juices; drinks; and pet food.

The Lidl delegation told the committee the retailer also actively promotes Irish suppliers to all its purchasing divisions, and permanent and seasonal listings have been agreed by a number of Irish suppliers in Lidl stores across Europe. Kenneth McGrath, managing director, Lidl Ireland, said the proposed introduction of a statutory code of practice for the grocery sector would lead to increased costs for the retailer.

McGrath said the Competition Act already prevented some of the practices alleged by suppliers and, despite their claims, no cases had been brought before the courts. "The alleged practices in the industry are far removed from our daily business at Lidl. We shun the very notion of ‘hello money’, we do not solicit monies for new listings. We alone determine placement and our layout.

"We determine and finance our own advertising and promotions strategy and do not ‘tap up’ our suppliers retrospectively to reach financial targets. We do not seek compensation for wastage or shrinkage nor do we seek merchandising support of any nature. We categorically do not demand money from suppliers."

Reacting to the recent horsemeat scandal, McGrath said Lidl now runs an extensive internal audit programme which includes DNA sampling and testing to verify specifications and standards of production for both the retailer and customer. Responding to questions about its labelling policy, the Lidl managing director said that in the absence of clear guidelines on the issue, it had introduced a system of its own. If a product is farmed, grown, or reared in Ireland, it will carry the logo "produce of Ireland".

If it has gone through a full production process here but may have an imported ingredient, it will carry the logo "produced in Ireland", while a product sourced from Northern Ireland is also labelled accordingly.



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