We are signatories to the following open letter, coordinated by Riverford. For more information, head to https://getfairaboutfarming.co.uk/
Dear Supermarkets – It’s Time to Get Fair About Farming
To the CEOs of the ‘Big Six’ supermarkets; Ken Murphy (Tesco), Simon Roberts (Sainsbury’s), Stuart Rose (ASDA), David Potts (Morrisons), Giles Hurley (ALDI), and Ryan McDonnell (LIDL).
British farming needs your help – almost half (49%) of fruit and veg farmers fear they will go out of business within the next 12 months, with the behaviour of supermarkets being a leading factor. And while farms are closing their gates, supermarkets are reporting record profits.
The Big Six’s buying practices are all too often unbalanced, short term and wasteful. Farmers are denied commitment or security – with whole crops rejected at the last minute in favour of cheaper options elsewhere, or just because supermarkets change their mind.
Good food ends up rotting in the field. Farmers are left without payment for their crops. And without a stable, reliable income, they are struggling to survive.
These practices threaten the livelihoods of hardworking farmers, and jeopardise the availability of fresh, healthy, and locally grown food for shoppers. If farms continue to close, the British produce that customers know and love risks disappearing from your shelves altogether.
Over two-thirds (69%) of fruit and veg farmers agree that tougher regulations are required to redress the imbalance of power between farmers and supermarkets. That’s why Riverford Organic Farmers is joining forces with farmers to call for urgent change. The support behind us is clear, as you can see from our signatories.
We entreat every supermarket to pledge these five commitments to farmers:
The government also needs to stand up for British food and farming, through robust regulation of the relationships between supermarkets and your suppliers. The current policy is completely inadequate and rarely enforced. We’re creating a petition asking Parliament to take action.
Supermarkets can play a vital role in building a more sustainable future for the farmers who keep your shelves stocked. But long-term food security requires long-term cooperation – not just a short-term drive for profit. You have the power to do more; we can’t do it without your help.
Show us your support and let’s #GetFairAboutFarming.
Guy Singh-Watson, founder of Riverford Organic Farmers