“A lot of farmers face great pressure from supermarkets and some would argue that they (supermarkets) actually control the prices that farmers get.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice has been asked to protect farmers’ livelihoods on at least two counts:
Some farmers in the UK can’t afford to plant crops for next season due to rocketing fuel and fertiliser costs, a Government minister has been told. Environment Secretary George Eustice was also asked to ensure that supermarkets do not use the cost-of-living crisis to impose unfair food prices on farmers. The statements were made by concerned MPs during a parliamentary Defra question session with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Rising fuel and fertiliser costs are a real concern:
But there are also concerns about the undue pressures from supermarkets:
Conservative MP Chris Loder for West Dorset asked in the House of Commons on Thursday (April 28) what ministers are doing to give the supermarket ombudsman “more teeth” to ensure supermarkets “do not inappropriately take advantage of the difficulties that we see with food prices” when it comes to the prices farmers receive. “Because as [the Secretary of State] will well know, a lot of farmers face great pressure from supermarkets and some would argue that they (supermarkets) actually control the prices that farmers get, when that is not really how it should be.”
This seems to be happening everywhere:
As supermarket prices climb most shoppers would be shocked to learn that some farmers are not seeing one extra dollar in their pocket.
“Many farmers continue to be ripped off, held to ransom by the might and power of the food supply chain with little to no protections from Australia’s competition law,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
This election, the NFF is calling on both major parties to have the courage to commit to the competition law reform needed to level the playing field for farmers, small businesses, and ultimately consumers.
“Australians expect farmers to receive their fair share for the food they produce. But while prices are on the up, farmers remain price takers, at the mercy of the formidable bargaining position of processors and retailers.”
But, in fact, this has been happening for some time now, as this piece from the Guardian from 2011 shows: