Food strike plan for the UK splits farmer opinion

Farmers For Action is considering a one-day food strike on Aug 22 to raise awareness that food price increases in supermarkets are not keeping pace with rises in input costs.

FFA chairman David Handley said the idea was being “talked about” but no firm decision had been made.

“The days of cheap food are over and we need to highlight what is going on with food production at the moment,” he said.

It is likely that if a strike was to take place farmers would be asked to withhold produce for a 24 hour period.

Mr Handley admitted that some organisations and a number of farmers felt such a move would be a bad idea, but said the industry needed to be talking about the issue of escalating costs now, rather than in six months’ time when things reached crisis point.

“If it isn’t the right idea, then people, won’t take part,” he said. “You could argue that there are other ways of doing it – but we’ve found that the only way is to make people realise how serious things are.”

Mr Handley said price rises had brought a feel-good factor to farming but that now seemed to be diminishing. Fertiliser, fuel and feed prices had all rocketed in recent months.

“A lot of people who bought inputs last year and are yet to but this next year’s haven’t realised what is around the corner. We need to be talking about this now.”

The idea of a strike has already generated comments on our forums – both for and against. Read them and share your thoughts. Here are some extracts:

“What the hell are they going to achieve by this other than putting everyone’s back up? Great idea, hold back a day’s production at what is for some a very difficult marketing period and double the production the next and depress the price at a time of year when it will not recover.” dundaggin

“I was on the barricades in the fuel strike, which was a whisker away from toppling the government in 2000. We were told a pack of lies about being listened to in future and stepped back from the brink. All the hauliers need to arrange a “holiday” for the same fortnight sometime this summer, and see how the public cope with no food or goods.” glasshouse


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