Supermarkets 'driving farmers out of business'

UK - Lancashire dairy farmers are earning nearly £20,000 a year less than they were five years ago, according to government figures.
calendar icon 6 March 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

Figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show a drop in the average net income of a farm in the county from £32,700 in 2001 to just £13,300 last year.

That is £13,800 less than the average in England and excludes farms whose herds were decimated by the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, the vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on dairy farming, believes the power supermarkets use to enforce pricing is driving farmers out of business.

He said: "The supermarkets are doing very well and the food processors are doing very well. It is at the other end of the scale where the farmers are not doing well, and this country cannot afford to allow that to continue.

"We cannot become a nation reliant on foreign imports. We must be sustainable in our food chain, and the dairy industry is a very important part of that chain.

"Supermarkets have a duty to protect the dairy farming industry in Lancashire and I am putting pressure on to highlight how critical the situation now is."

Source: Lancashire Evening Post

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