Records from the High Court show that Lidl Ireland has taken a case against the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The case was formally launched last Friday (March 19). IFA president Tim Cullinan and deputy president Brian Rushe have each been named as defendants, as well as the association itself.

Last week, the IFA and Lidl (as well as Aldi) got in a war of words over the labels those two retailers were using on their milk.

On Sunday, March 14, the IFA ran an advertisement in national media claiming that Lidl and Aldi labelled their milk in such a way to make it appear as though it comes from particular dairies or creameries, when those dairies and creameries didn’t exist.

Both retailers rejected the IFA’s claims, with the former releasing a statement saying: “Lidl is disappointed to see such a misleading and possibly defamatory advertisement.

“All of our milk comes from farmers in the Republic of Ireland, a fact well known to the IFA.

“This issue is being examined by our legal team so we have no further comment at this time,” the Lidl spokesperson had said.

The IFA then subsequently issued a response to the Lidl statement, saying it will “not be intimidated by legal threats”.

Cullinan insisted: “Everything in the advert is 100% accurate. Lidl have a label saying ‘Coolree Creamery’ on their milk. There is no such creamery.

He went on to claim: “In general, retailers are trying to destroy farmer-owned brands by creating their own labels. Suggesting that the milk is produced by creameries and dairies which don’t actually exist is completely misleading and we fully stand over the advert.”