Farmers protest against supermarkets

6 August 2015

farmer British farmers are fed up with the way they're being treated by supermarkets. They're so angry, that they've been protesting against the chains in the UK.

There's a social media campaign from sheep farmers, using the #NoLambWeek hashtag, which is urging producers to stop selling to supermarkets this week. Simultaneously, dairy farmers are buying all the milk off supermarket shelves and giving it away for free.

John Davies, a sheep and beef producer from Wales, says: "We tried to engage properly and we tried to debate and go forward, but sometimes you're just forced into this. Farmers are feeling very fed up with the situation and they feel this is the only option to raise awareness."

"What frustrates people is when the shelves are filled with imported products and there's no choice of home-produced products. That's really firing people up. There's been some pretty poor labelling saying 'produced in the UK' in quite large writing and then underneath in very small writing 'from New Zealand or Australia'."

"That's not really playing the game is it? Consumers have the right to choose whatever they want, but it should be properly labelled."

Supermarkets have been accused of charging customers the same price they did last year, but cutting the prices paid to farmers. Farmers have said that, should this continue, there won't be a farming industry in the UK at all.

"All commodities are under pressure at the moment," Davies added. "There is a big spread in the price being offered. Some places are getting as little as 14, 15 pence a litre for their milk and that's not sustainable."

TOPICS:   Supermarket


  • Marvin
    There will be an awful lot of brand new Range Rovers/Discoveries parked in the supermarket whilst they are there giving the milk away for free....
  • Peter T.
    Yeah, fancy that, eh? Farmers with four-wheel drive vehicles. Whatever next.
  • Marvin
    A friend, who is in farming at the moment, has recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs and I would like to join the ‘not rearing pigs’ business. In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pig not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many farmers not rearing these already? As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of just how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this? My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best annual return he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1978; that is, until this year, when he received your cheque for £3,000 for not rearing any. If I were to get £3,000 for not rearing fifty pigs, will I be entitled to £6,000 for not rearing a hundred? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. However, as I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases? Another point: these pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers not to grow crops, so will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals in order not to feed the pigs I don’t rear? In order to diversify, I am also considering the ‘not milking cows’ business, so please send any information leaflets you have on that too, please. Would you also include the current DEFRA advice on set-aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis of ‘virtual’ fields of which I seem to have several thousand hectares? In view of the above, you will realise that I shall be totally unemployed and will, therefore, qualify for unemployment benefits over and above the monies that I shall receive from DEFRA’s Rural Payments Agency. I shall, of course, be voting for your party at the next General Election. Yours Faithfully Nigel Johnson-Hill.
  • Neil
    Leicestershire definition of a poor farmer: one who has to wash his Mercedes himself.
  • Han S.
    Simultaneously, dairy farmers are buying all the milk off supermarket shelves and giving it away for free - You mean the same milk they produced in the first place and could have given away then? So dairy farmers are thick then

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