This e-mail came through from a reader of ValueIreland.com some time ago. What do you think? Agree, disagree?
I am very concerned with the growing attitude that seems to be gripping the country. I have had numerous discussions with consumers over the past month regarding the growing imports from the UK within the grocery sector. It appears many consumers do not understand the importance of supporting Irish companies and Irish products. In fact some of the consumers I have spoken to think only about the price and not as to where the product came from or whether it was supplied by an Irish supplier. They simply do not care about the jobs being lost in Ireland as a result of goods being imported that were previously sourced through Irish companies.
My obvious concerns are for the financial stability of the local and Irish economy. Job losses appear to be accepted as part and parcel of this recession. Why should this be the case? Every person in Ireland has the ability to change this trend. It is as simple as supporting Irish companies and products. Yes I accept Irish products tend to be more expensive. This is due to the higher costs incurred in producing the product. If the Irish consumer wishes to retain the ability to buy Irish goods then it is vital to ensure the consumer is educated as to the benefits of buying and supporting Irish goods and companies.
Irish companies are lifeblood of each and every community. They provide the majority of funding for social welfare payments, public sector pay etc. etc.
The upcoming budget will provide a tough test for this government. One that will cause much upheaval in many households throughout Ireland. The government predict it will take 4 years to balance the spending between expenditure and tax revenue. With the help of each and every person in Ireland by supporting Irish businesses and products we can shorten this time span and make Ireland a much better and profitable place to live.
Ireland pre 2000 was a country built with great pride in the quality of Irish products and great support was given to Irish products. Unfortunately times have changed for the worse and the focus on lower prices has now encouraged UK and other companies in Ireland to source their goods from the UK and mainland Europe. This money is going out of the Irish economy and benefiting foreign economies. the loss of these funds are causing job losses, pay cuts, and what could be poorer public services.
The latter is a very sensitive subject at present. Many public sector workers are aggrieved with how they feel they are being singled out for the position the country is in at present. This is very unfair on the frontline staff. The lower paid if you will. They do not deserve to be treated with disrespect. Although any position of employment within the public sector is a much more favorable position than that being experienced within the private sector. Every position of employment, without exception, within the private sector is under incredible pressure due to cutbacks in spending throughout the Irish economy.
The consumer in Ireland is constantly told to demand lower prices by the National Consumer Agency (NCA). Although this seems to make sense, we must be aware of the repercussions of these actions. The drive for lower prices thus far has resulted in lower prices and higher unemployment, the risk of reduced social welfare payments and considerable reduction in vital public services such as health care, education and gardai. From the outset Ireland will not look like a very safe or healthy place to live for the next few years.
As I stated earlier it is possible to prevent or at least reduce the damage incurred upon the Irish economy by simply educating each and every person living in Ireland to support Irish businesses and Products. It is important to demand Irish produced goods or if the goods you seek are not produced in Ireland ensure they are distributed by Irish suppliers. This will encourage employment and with the correct approach from suppliers keep prices low.
One final point I must make is with reference to fresh fruit & vegetables being sold by Lidl. Four weeks previous to this letter my daughter while at college bought some vegetables in Lidl. She purchased tomatoes, peppers and lettuce on a Monday. She cut one tomato and one pepper in half and a small portion of lettuce. She used this and placed the rest in the fridge. As a typical student she forgot about them until the following Friday. She opened the fridge expecting the goods to be rotten and much to her surprise she found them to be in the exact same condition as the first day she purchased them. She was very concerned as to how this could be and decided to see how long it would take for them to go off. Four weeks later and the same goods are still in perfect condition. The question is how? I would like to think every Irish person understands fresh goods will only stay fresh for a couple of days before going bad. So why are these goods still in such good condition?
For those whom may read this email, I suggest you look at the possibility of educating the consumer to support Irish businesses and Irish products. This will help to generate the much needed funds for the exchequer and re-circulate the profits in the Irish economy and not foreign economies.