Opinion: Lidl job promises should not be at the expense of local farmers
Lidl’s entry into Latvia’s retail trade market began with cutting a path – trees were planned to be cut down in secret in Purvciems (Dzelzavas Street 75b), and when the reasons behind it were uncovered it was admitted on a political level that Lidl retail
She notes that Lidl has yet to release a statement, opposite to the public image of an «economically, socially and environmentally responsible company».
She continues: «The fate of those trees will be decided by Riga City Council. Meanwhile, facts about the construction of the logistics centre on Ulbroka Street have become topical, considering the construction permit was signed on behalf of an 83-year-old lady. Residents of nearby houses remain uninformed about the situation – people responsible for the construction have not bothered with informing society of the planned construction work.»
BNN had previously reported that the developer of the piece of land where trees are planned to be cut down to make way for a new supermarket is SIA Investīciju aģentūra, which has a land sale contract signed with SIA MMS Property, which, in turn, belongs to German CE – Beteiligungs GmbH. Lancmane also mentions that Lidl representatives claim Latvia needs investments and jobs – a classic cliché phrase when a project is being rushed. «What’s more important is providing economic justifications and analysis of facts about Lidl’s operations around the world. International media widely cover all kinds of problems with Lidl operations. For example, Lidl name in Bulgaria is associated with a cartel investigation. In 2015, British farmers protested against Lidl policy to sell agricultural products below their self-cost, which forced farmers from the market,» Lancmane explains.
It is important for farmers and local producers that retail traders sell local goods. This is one of Lidl’s many flaws, because there are verbal promises of love for local products on one hand, while the actual situation in Lithuania, for example, show that locals have minimal chances of realizing their products, Lancmane continues. «Lidl’s aggressive entry creates concerns for local producers and their chances of surviving. Because of that, we expect a definite loss of jobs. Employees could be divided – people who worked in production may become cashiers and so on. It is likely migrants will be used to cover the low-paid jobs. With that said, there is no room to speak of economic growth and beneficial investments,» Lancmane concludes.