SuperValu will donate €100,000 to Focus Ireland

SuperValu has announced that it will donate €100,000 from its fruit and veg sales this Christmas to the homeless charity Focus Ireland and hence will not be reducing the price of its carrots, brussel sprouts and melons any lower than its keenly priced 19 cent.

Earlier today Agriland asked SuperValu if it is selling Irish grown vegetables at below cost of production prices. Commenting on this issue, a spokesperson for the company said:

“This is a moot point, the price we are paying the supplier and farmer has not changed, we are picking up any shortfall.

When asked if the company is committing to Focus Ireland now, purely on the back of the current media focus on fresh produce prices in the shops, the spokesman continued:

“No.  We have done this because we didn’t want to drive the market any lower, particularly for Irish farmers, as we are the only supermarket stocking 100% Irish carrots and brussel sprouts.  The others have a mix of Dutch, French and English, in addition to their Irish.  If we followed them we are acutely aware that potentially the long term price and quality of Irish produce that might well suffer in a race to the bottom.

“However, we also wanted to demonstrate to customers that we would not benefit financially from maintaining prices at current levels, so we decided to give a donation of 14c on every bag of carrots, net of brussel sprouts and melons we sell from now to Christmas to Focus Ireland, who work tirelessly towards ending homelessness. This will result in a donation of approximately €100,000 to this very deserving cause.  We choose Focus Ireland as we like the work they do and they are community based, which fits with SuperValu’s own community credentials.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu added:

“At SuperValu we always strive to be competitive and give our customers what they want in the context of both value and quality. As the number one supporter of the Irish food and farming sector, we believe it is a step too far to reduce the price of our Christmas fruit and veg produce any further. 14 cent even in these difficult times is a saving that can be easily made on any shop, but all of these 14 cents collected together by SuperValu and its customers will make a huge difference to Focus Ireland and the clients they serve.”