A cut in the price of milk is welcome, with overall supermarket prices still too high.
That's according to Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Retail Business Neale Richmond, who was speaking as a number of major retailers announced a reduction in the price of milk.
On Friday, Lidl said it was reducing the price of a two-litre carton of its own-brand milk by an average of 10 cents
Tesco, Aldi and Supervalu are now all set to follow suit.
Minister Richmond told The Hard Shoulder the cost of the basics needs to fall more.
"Prices at supermarket tills, up to the last number of weeks, have just simply been acceptable [sic] - they are still too high," he said.
"People do find that they're paying too much, particularly for the basics.
"We haven't seen those increased prices at supermarket lead to an increased price at the farm gate.
"What we made quite clear as a Government... is we expect prices at the checkout to come down, which they have consistently on a whole wide-range of products.
"But we don't want to see that at the expense of price at the farm gate".
'We don't want to use enforcement'
Minister Richmond said enforcing such measures is something they would rather not have to do.
"There's plenty of measures that we can use to enforce, but to be honest we don't want to use them," he said.
"We've seen other European countries who, say for example, have brought in price caps making an absolute disaster.
"The main real tool of power open to the Government is the new Agrifood Regulator.
"That allows us to provide real security in terms of the visibility and transparency around prices".
Minister Richmond said Ireland is starting from a higher base than most other countries.
"The competition that we see in supermarkets, it is a good thing - it's greatly important," he said.
"Food inflation in Ireland, while we feel it's high, it's considerably lower than the rest of Europe but we're starting from such a high base.
"The more supermarkets we have... the more choice we can give to consumers.
"The fact that one supermarket chain cut their price of milk on Friday, and we've seen three more major supermarkets equally cut their price... is a good thing".
Minster Richmond defended the position of talking to the various groups involved.
"People undermine talking, and dismiss things as a talking shop but that's how we get things done," he said.
"The last thing you want is a Government... just to use legislation to force things to happen.
"We want to constantly - and which we are doing - constantly engaging with the farmers, the producer and the retailer.
"Milk isn't a loss leader in our supermarkets, it's a staple food stuff, a staple part of every person's weekly shop," he added.
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