Loss Leaders: Irish Outraged

Published online: May 22, 2003
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Irish growers want a regulation that bans supermarkets from selling potatoes as a loss leader.

The Groceries Order introduced in 1987 came as a response to predatory and loss-leader pricing strategies by grocery chains. It includes most groceries with the exception of potatoes, vegetables and fruits.

The latest suggestion to end the Order has Irish Farmers’ Association national potato committee chairman John Sheridan raging.

“This would be a retrograde step which would have disastrous consequences for farmers and ultimately would rebound on consumers,” he said.

Sheridan said supermarkets are already abusing their dominant loss leaders in an attempt to protect or win market share.

“The government should be extending the Order to include potatoes and vegetables instead of repealing it and afford these important grocery lines the same status under the laws as most other grocery items.”