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Tag: Aldi

The other European crisis: milk

Saturday, 21 May, 2016 0 Comments

“Dear Representative of the Media,

The severe turbulence in the milk market makes it increasingly clear that the current reckless EU policy has drastic negative consequences for man and beast alike in the countryside… It is essential to systematically counter the extreme overproduction in the milk market. Political institutions and representatives of producers and industry will be addressing this issue at the hearing in the European Parliament on 25 May.”

So goes the invitation from the European Milk Board. How bad is the situation? In Germany, discount supermarket Aldi has cut the price of milk in its outlets from 59 cents a litre to 46 cents. Other chains have followed, the Hamburger Morgenpost reports. Milk is now cheaper than some brands of mineral water and dairy farmers are getting as little as 18 cents a litre. They say they need at least 40 cents a litre to cover costs.

Having decided to phase out their extravagant support for the coal industry, Europe’s leaders are now under pressure to pump billions into another bottomless pit of sorts: the dairy industry. But the iron law of supply and demand cannot be wished away with handouts. Market rules should apply as much for farmers as for fitters and flight attendants, who must endure disruption, too. The price for cheap milk comes with a significant cost, however. An entire way of life is dying and the ruins of Europe’s abandoned dairy farms will serve as memorials for a lost rural culture. Those of us who were reared in dairyland are familiar with the words of Joni Mitchell: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Pints of milk

The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi

Monday, 13 January, 2014 1 Comment

Lidl and Aldi are German discount supermarket chains that, between them, operate more than 20,000 stores across Europe. They are (in)famous for their fearsome competitiveness, their ruthless pricing and their wholesale destruction of traditional shopping outlets that once were the hub of small communities. Oh, and they offer consumers lots of stuff. This latter aspect is the focus of The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi, which is sung here by Mick MacConnell in John B. Keane’s Pub in Listowel, County Kerry.

“Now there’s welding rods and prime organic beef to make a hearty stew
A hiking staff and spiky boots for climbing Kathmandu
Big heads of curly cabbage to make you eat your fill
Sledgehammers and bananas and a lovely cordless drill
And there’s hatchets and hamburgers and there’s tins of beans and peas
And a petrol driven chainsaw for cutting bits off trees
Strimmers, sabres, saws and sausages, computers and TVs
At LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.”

Tip of the Tam o’Shanter to Mary and Niamh for the link.