Irish retailers are taking advantage of the abolition of below-cost selling to squeeze suppliers, according to Food and Drink Industry Ireland.

In a report just out, the trade body claims that following the axing of the Groceries Order "retailers with significant buying power are compelling suppliers to fund discounting and promotional activities, putting pressure on suppliers' margins".

FDII also hits back at critics who blame it for the Republic's worsening obesity problems. It argues personal responsibility and the need for physical exercise have to be taken into account and appeals to government not to be "swayed by popular prejudice" in imposing restrictions on the content and marketing of convenience foods.

The industry, it claims, has "invested significantly" in the convenience sector and the cost of any new regulations should be considered.