How much are vegetables retailing for in the supermarkets?

Following on from the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) protest outside Marks & Spencer last week over the low-cost selling of vegetables, AgriLand decided to venture out to some of the shops to see what sort of prices consumers are paying for their Christmas vegetables.

AgriLand visited three of the main supermarket stores this week and below are a few snippets of some products and prices.

Love them or loathe them, Brussels sprouts will be on everybody’s Christmas shopping list. The good news for consumers is that they won’t break the bank – not so good for the farmer though.

Punnets of Brussels sprouts were spotted at the low price of 49c, while sprouts on the stalk were retailing for €2 in one store AgriLand visited.

Carrots will no doubt be adding a bit of colour to your Christmas plate. A 2kg bag of carrots in one store was retailing for €1, while 1kg bags were on offer for 49c in two other stores visited. Parsnips to join were also retailing at 49c (500g).

56% drop in the number of vegetable farmers in Ireland

The low-cost selling of vegetables is a concern for the Irish vegetable sector. Speaking on Morning Ireland last Tuesday (December 18), President of the IFA Joe Healy explained that in the past 15 years the number of vegetable growers in this country has dropped from 377 down to 165 – a 56% drop.

Healy made the point that farmers cannot take the hit for these price promotions.

To produce 1kg of potatoes costs 35c/kg and to grow carrots it costs 70c/kg.

“So you can’t be expected to grow carrots for 70c and then sit back and watch the retailers sell them for 20c,” Healy stated in relation to the selling of carrots and potatoes for as low as 20c/kg.