Lidl Ireland has confirmed that UK courgettes were sold under its Supersaver promotion of its “Irish courgettes” product line
which it promoted online, in-store and in leaflets as being of Bord Bia-assured Irish origin.
It told the Irish Farmers Journal that it sourced the UK-origin courgettes after failing to secure enough Irish produce to cater for the week-long half price courgette promotion.
Lidl Ireland did not comment on its use of Bord Bia logos in advertisements or promotions for non-Irish origin vegetables when queried, only stating that its logo usage on product packaging was in order.
“In relation to our recent Supersaver promotion on courgettes, we can confirm that all packaging was correctly labelled with the correct country of origin with no exceptions,” Lidl commented.
“Due to unprecedented customer demand on this promotion we needed to source top-up volume from the UK as our Irish supplier could not fulfil the order in its entirety. This small volume was accurately labelled with UK origin on the packaging.”
The Bord Bia logo can only be used on advertising or promotional fliers where all product being advertised or promoted is Bord Bia quality assured
Bord Bia confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that an investigation is under way into a retailer for potentially misusing its logo on promotional materials used to sell goods of non-Irish origin, but it could not name the retailer under investigation.
“The Bord Bia logo can only be used on advertising or promotional fliers where all product being advertised or promoted is Bord Bia quality assured,” the agency said.
“We are committed to protecting the integrity of the quality mark and we take the misuse of the logo very seriously.”
The “overriding principle” of Bord Bia’s logo usage policy is that logos “must be clear, unambiguous and must not mislead the consumer, whether on pack, or on advertising and promotional material.”
Issue raised on social media
A shopper had raised the use of Bord Bia’s logo on Lidl’s in-store promotional materials for “Irish brown onions” originating in the Netherlands and “Irish broccoli” originating in Spain on 28 August on social media.
Lidl’s social media team responded: “We have raised this internally and we will work on getting this fixed as soon as possible”.
This week also saw vegetable shelf labelling in Lidl stores showing an Irish origin for cauliflower, courgettes and York cabbage, despite boxes or packaging showing UK or Dutch origins.
It has stated on social media that a “disparity between produce name and origin” arose from a “technical issue with some new signs in one of our stores that has been fixed”.
However, further issues were documented by the Irish Farmers Journal after this social media post.