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

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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.

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