11 August 2015, 16:47 PM
  • The UK's farming unions have told Government, the EU and the food industry that a sizeable change in the way food is sold is needed in order to avoid dire consequences for the farming industry and rural economy
Seismic Change In Selling Food is Essential, says NFU

The four union presidents of the National Farmers Union, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and Ulster Farmers Union together with FFA, TFA, CLA and NFYFC, have issued a joint statement to retailers, processors and Government requesting that the warning signs that farming is in a state of emergency not be ignored.

Retailers: “Stop devaluing fresh British food like milk purely to get customers through the door. Start demonstrating right now how you are ensuring that ALL the food you are selling comes from a farm which has been paid a fair price. The British public has said time and time again that they want British food. Unless farmers’ returns are sustainable and you promote British food and label it properly the future of our supply is at risk. If you can’t demonstrate what you are doing for all food then we look to you to commit to changing.”

Government: “We would urge farm ministers across the UK to meet urgently. They need to admit that something has gone fundamentally wrong in the supply chain and take remedial action. In general, voluntary codes are not delivering their intended purpose. Government needs to take action to ensure that contracts to all farmers are longer-term and fairer in apportioning risk and reward.

“At the moment in many contracts all the risk is put on the farmer with very little of the reward. Government also needs to urgently ensure that rules are put in place regarding labelling so that it is clear and obvious which products are imported and which are British. We are all looking for government to ensure that British products are marketed abroad and that new markets are opened up for our high quality British food.”

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