Clelands’ supermarkets have reiterated their decision not to sell below-cost farm produce.
The Laois based retailer, which has stores in Portlaoise and Abbeyleix stated its position in a facebook post on December 15:
"In support of the Irish Farming Community, Clelands will not be selling vegetables below farming production costs. We believe each and every farmer needs the support of every retailer and consumer to ensure they survive the recent actions of irresponsible retailers."
"Farmers get hammered every year," Alex Cleland told the Leinster Express.
"The work they do is hard. We took the decision we would not insult them by selling their produce below what it cost to produce it. It would be disrespectful.
"Selling below cost gives consumers a false impression that farmers are charging more than they should.
"We know we would lose business doing this, but sometimes you have to act for the greater good.
"Where would the country be if not for farmers. They have enough worries at the moment with Brexit. Why compound the issue?
"Some customers are delighted with the stance we have taken on it," noted Alex.
"It's not all about a short term gain and matching our competition. Anyway, a short term gain often is a long term loss. That does no one any favours.
"I know four to five farmers who have gone out of business over the past few years."