> Farmer Shares Concerns over Lack of British Produce Sold by Supermarkets - The Food Safety Company Farmer Shares Concerns over Lack of British Produce Sold by Supermarkets - The Food Safety Company
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    Wednesday, 22 March 2017

    Farmer Shares Concerns over Lack of British Produce Sold by Supermarkets


    The on-going issue of increased overseas imports overshadowing local produce is forever in the news. The profit-greedy supermarkets opting for imports instead of choosing and supporting British farmers is causing uproar among those who depend on retailers, seeing many of their unwanted crops going to waste.

    Richard Ash, a farmer in Sandwich, Kent, believes supermarkets should be set restrictions on how much they import, punishing them for neglecting local produce which is right at their fingertips, and fresher. He recognises how imports from Spain don’t reach supermarket shelves until they are at least 6 days old, whereas British produce can be on sale within a day.

    Ash shares his concerns on the thousands of pounds worth of his crops he is forced to destroy as they’re unwanted, the current issue being cauliflowers.

    He tells Kent Online, “It seems crazy that foreign companies are taking the profits and the foreign economy is benefitting from us importing their produce when we have British produce right here that we should be using,”

    “We should be buying British. I don’t know why supermarkets do it. It’s costing them and it’s hitting our economy.

    “Eventually what will happen is they will drive the British growers out of production. We’ll end up with no home producers.”

    Ash has been farming a 900 acre plot for 50 years, and notes how the farming industry is less appealing to the young as there’s little money in it anymore, as compared to when he started; “the average age of the British farmer is about 60. The old boys like me love it, but no one wants to come into this industry, there’s no money to be earned.”

    As an example, supermarkets can receive up to £1.60 profit per cauliflower, which is a decent amount when sold to the masses. Ash has spoken out to the government about how he believes the only way to maintain British produce being sold a reasonable amount as compared to imports is to introduce deterrents and punishments for supermarkets who over-import.

    “Maybe we should be looking at punishing them (supermarkets) if they are continually importing, maybe there should be tariffs – something to deter them and encourage them to use British produce as much as possible” he continues.

    The on-going concern about buying locally has been approached in a number of ways. With the option for online shoppers, to Morrisons Local Food Makers campaign, the battle continues, but with supermarkets seeking maximum profit, there’s little chance of imports reducing drastically any time soon.


    Laura Sewell

    An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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