21 November 2001
FoE calls for new supermarket code

By FWi staff

RADICAL government measures are required to safeguard the future of farming in the UK, claim environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth.

In a new report the group calling for a legally enforceable code of conduct to govern the relationship between supermarkets and supplier.

FoE says the major supermarkets which dominate the food retail sector can exert severe pressure on farmers to keep prices artificially low.

Food scares and the impact of cheap imports have sent farming to rock bottom, claims FoE campaign director Liana Stupples.

We must face up to the price we are paying for a policy of cheap food, she said.

Supermarkets have UK farmers in an arm-lock – we must look at the role of food production in the wider economy, and the impact on our countryside and food quality.

The report, entitled Get real about food and farming, also calls for a commitment to scrap the Common Agricultural Policy by 2006.

It should be replaced with a sustainable development policy rewarding producers for good stewardship, high animal welfare standards and biodiversity.

More support for local food production and distribution would strengthen local economies and provide valuable employment, claims the group.

The report calls for food and agriculture should be removed from the control of the World Trade Organisation, the report says.

Instead, a new international agreement on food and agriculture should promote and protect human rights to safe, healthy and nutritious food, it argues.

People have a right to decent food at a price they can afford, said Ms Stupples. The government must act to support this right.

A copy of the report can be downloaded from the FoE website.