Supermarkets asked to consider bonus payments to suppliers

Supermarkets are being asked to consider paying a bonus to their food suppliers and farmer primary-producers who continued to work tirelessly during the pandemic.

The President of ICMSA Pat McCormack made the call while noting the understandable decision of companies like Aldi and Tesco to pay their staff a 10% Christmas bonus for “working tirelessly” through the months of pandemic.

He believes the people who "toiled hardest and longest", the farmers producing the food, deserve such a reward.

While acknowledging the role played by frontline workers such as supermarket staff, McCormack said it was “disappointing” to contrast the praise and recognition given to the people who sold the food with the unsustainable prices being paid to farmers – who actually produced that food.

“Throughout the pandemic, farmers continued their essential work and it’s very revealing that no-one ever even mentions any kind of recognition or reward for the people who produce the food that the retailers sell. The retail corporations have made unprecedented profits this year, they should recognise that they have been systematically underpaying the people who make the food – as opposed to selling it – for decades now. Given their increased sales and profits in 2020, and to recognise the efforts of everyone in the food supply chain, they should announce a similar bonus for their food suppliers and primary producers in the interests of fairness,” concluded Mr McCormack.