The IFA campaign against "phantom farm and processor names" used by Lidl and Aldi has been expanded to highlight other food products which use the same branding policy.

IFA president Tim Cullinan said: “They are using their own brands to drive down the prices they pay to their suppliers. These brands displace well-established ones that return a higher margin to farmers.

“Aldi and Lidl go a step further with their policy of inventing fake farms, dairies, creameries and bakeries. This is disgraceful."

Undermine farmer brands

The IFA has urged consumers not to sideline established and trusted brands in place of German discounter home brands.

“The reason nobody knows where Connell Farm is located or Healy’s Farm Eggs or Egan’s is because they don’t exist. They are a marketing creation designed to undermine traditional brands,” Cullinan continued.

They are using their own brands to drive down the prices they pay to their suppliers

“No more than Coolree Creamery or Clonbawn Irish Dairy, they are a cynical marketing device designed to convince the consumer that they are supporting a local-sounding supplier.”

Real teeth

The IFA has urged the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to ensure that the incoming food ombudsman delivers full transparency on labelling and pricing.

“The Minister must ensure that the food ombudsman has real teeth.

“The trading arrangements between retailers and suppliers has to be rebalanced. It must show who is getting what from the food chain.

“As farmers, we have to get a better return. Our food is produced by real farm families who are working around the clock and to the highest standards.”

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