Supervalu to suspend current food promotion programme

Supervalu has informed the IFA that they will suspend their current promotional programme, offering free vegetables when roast beef was purchased.

The decision came following discussions between the supermarket and the farming organisation.

Last week the retailer ran a promotion offering free carrots and potatoes when customers bought roast beef, which was also discounted by 50%, according to the IFA.

Ireland’s largest retailer has agreed to discontinue the promotional programme, which this week ran a similar offer on onions and mushrooms, IFA President Joe Healy said.

Following representations made by the IFA to SuperValu, the retailer has decided not to extend the current promotional programme beyond tomorrow, February 4.

“We will be meeting with the retailer again in the near future to express farmers’ anger at this type of promotion,” he said.

Promotional Programme

The IFA accused Supervalu of acting unethically when it launched the ‘Free’ food giveaway.

Healy said that this was a further example of why we need political intervention at EU and national level to have proper regulation in terms of farmers getting a fair share of the consumer price.

In this case, there isn’t even a consumer price to get a share of. It demonstrates the need for a clear ban on below-cost selling of food.

“This sort of stunt is a race to the bottom. Farmers have little or no market power and they will ultimately bear the brunt of this type of unethical price promotion,” he said.

Farmers and consumers would expect Supervalu to show a higher standard of corporate responsibility in line with their ‘community retailer’ ethos, he added.

At the start of the promotional campaign a spokesperson for the supermarket chain said the offer was designed as part of its ongoing effort to encourage consumers to cook with Irish produce.

The spokesperson also said the promotional offer had been planned and agreed in consultation with its suppliers, while the cost of the promotion was to be funded by Supervalu.

“As the number one supporter of the Irish agri-food industry, SuperValu sources from over 2,200 Irish suppliers – more than any other grocery retailer in the Irish market – equating to an annual economic contribution of €2.19 billion.

“We are committed to working with our suppliers to build long-term, sustainable partnerships,” the spokesperson said.