Lidl has referred an advertisement issued by the IFA to its legal team as it may be ’’possibly defamatory’’.
The advertisement states that the milk for sale in the German discounters Aldi and Lidl is branded as Coolree Creamery (Lidl) and Clonbawn Irish Dairy (Aldi) but that no such creamery or dairy exists in Ireland.
The IFA said that the branding strategy is designed to drive down the price paid to dairy farmers.
The advertisement states: “To be sure your milk is from the Republic of Ireland look for the NDC (National Dairy Council) logo.”
In a statement to the Irish Farmers Journal, a Lidl spokesperson said: “Lidl is 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.”
The spokesperson said the issue was being examined by its legal team and that it had no further comment at the present time.
On Twitter, Lidl said its one-litre milk carton carried the NDC mark but its two- and three-litre milk cartons were packed in Omagh and cannot carry the NDC mark for this reason.
“Coolree Creamery is a brand under which we sell our own-label milk,” it said.
The other supermarket included in the IFA advertisement, Aldi, has also been approached for comment.