Lidl has launched legal proceedings against the IFA over its campaign centred on fresh milk and other products sold by the supermarket.

IFA president Tim Cullinan and IFA deputy president Brian Rushe have been named as defendants in the High Court filings.

The case relates to an advertisement in the Sunday Independent taken by the IFA which stated that milk for sale in the German discounters Lidl and Aldi is branded as Coolree Creamery (Lidl) and Clonbawn Irish Dairy (Aldi) but that no such creamery or dairy exists in Ireland.

The advertisement also stated: “To be sure your milk is from the Republic of Ireland look for the NDC (National Dairy Council) logo.”

When the advertisement was published, Lidl told the Irish Farmers Journal it was “disappointed to see such a misleading and possibly defamatory advertisement carried in today’s [14 March] Sunday Independent.

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

Lidl confirmed that it filed papers last Friday regarding what it called the "defamatory advertisement" placed by the IFA.

It said the matter was now subject to legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

In response, IFA president Tim Cullinan said the farm organisation would not be intimidated by legal threats.

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