Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has told farmers that if they want to change supermarkets they need to focus on the people that supermarkets listen to – consumers.

In a speech to the NFU Centenary Conference, Mr Clegg said: “You might think that it is a hopeless task. But it can be done.

“Consumers can change. The NFU is doing good work to make it happen – and it’s vital this continues and goes further.

Mr Clegg continued: “It is not use despairing that inner-city children don’t know that milk comes from a cow, or what an onion looks like. Help to do something about it – and you’ll have a new generation of consumers who actually understand and care where their food is coming from.”

Making things easier

Mr Clegg said his ambition was to make things easier in the countryside.

A better network of local abattoirs needed to be established to reduce the miles animals travel to slaughter.

Government should also look again at the food it buys for schools and hospitals – as more of it needed to be sustainable.

He also pledged; “I will oppose any plans by government to make you pay a levy to fund disease compensation.”

Mr Clegg is the third Party leader to address the NFU Centenary Conference. Gordon Brown and David Cameron both made appearances at the conference on Monday.