26 October 2011: Kendall: farmers must be given more power in supermarket fight
NFU President Peter Kendall, speaking at the annual North American and EU Agricultural Conference in Warsaw on Tuesday (October 25), explained how the abuse of power by supermarkets was an international problem and therefore required an international approach. He urged farming organisations across the EU and North America to campaign for tough and effective measures to deter and punish the abuse of supermarket power. Read more: http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/business/business-news/kendall-farmers-must-be-given-more-power-in-supermarket-fight/42526.article
25th October: Most British supermarkets do not pay a realistic rate for their pig meat
The ban on the use of inhumane sow stalls could represent a major opportunity for British pig farmers to expand. They have had welfare-friendly housing systems for over 10 years but are currently losing 16 pence per kg – about £13 per pig – on every animal they produce because most British supermarkets do not pay a realistic rate for their pig meat. Many rely on cheap imports produced under systems outlawed in the UK years ago . . .
Yet this does not have to be the case: Morrisons supermarket has reported an amazing 39% increase in pork sales in the past year as British shoppers are turning to pork joints as a cheaper alternative to beef and lamb. Read more: http://www.thepigsite.com/swinenews/27843/supermarkets-could-trigger-pork-shortage
20th October: Supermarket watchdog ‘neutered’ – http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/this-weeks-news/supermarket-watchdog-neutered-1.1130322
19th October: EU proposals for the dairy sector and the future of the dairy industry: Government Response to the Committee’s Eighth Report of Session 2010-12: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenvfru/1548/154802.htm
Dairy UK CAP proposals response:
Responding to the publication of the Commission’s formal proposals for the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), Dairy UK Policy Director Peter Dawson said: “The dairy industry is operating in a fiercely competitive and increasingly globalised market place. Our belief is that the CAP should help the UK dairy industry improve its competitiveness, deliver a profitable living for everybody in the supply chain, and enable the dairy sector to expand and realise its potential.” Read more here: Dairy UK CAP proposals response
13 October: Sainsburys to double sourcing of British produce
Ceding to the weight of public demand, or offering its own headline grabbing initiative in the wake of Tesco’s announcement it will be cutting prices, supermarket Sainsbury’s has announced it will attempt to double the amount of produce it sources from the British Isles by 2020. Read more:www.farming.co.uk/articles/view/5324
15 September: Retailer watchdog ‘unlikely before 2014′
Long-awaited plans to introduce a watchdog to oversee the relationship between retailers and farmers are unlikely to come to fruition before 2014. Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George said the draft Bill to implement a retailer ombudsman would not be heard by MPs until the 2012-13 parliamentary session. Read more: http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/14/09/2011/129012/Retailer-watchdog-unlikely-before-2014.htm
25 August 2010: Public support for farmers reaches five-year high
Three-quarters of people think of farmers ‘favourably or very favourably’, up from 68 per cent in 2005, the latest survey on the ‘public perceptions of farmers and farming’ shows. The paper’s hard copy showed chart which added that 80.1% thought farmers were being driven out of business by the supermarkets. Read more: http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/rural-life/country-view/public-support-for-farmers-reaches-five-year-high/33853.article
And at the bottom of the folder was the excellent ‘Look to the Local – A Better Agriculture is Possible’ – a report written by then MEP & now Brighton MP Caroline Lucas and our colleagues Michael Hart and Colin Hines. It can be read here: http://www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/file/Look%20to%20the%20Local.pdf but the cover and contents are missing so both have been scanned form the writer’s hard copy. The contents page is reproduced below, slightly askew.