Supermarkets need to increase home grown produce

11 August 2000

Supermarkets need to increase home grown produce

The problem is that Farmers in England, Scotland and Wales are nice decent
people. What we should be is more like the French Farmers, they are true
masters at getting their point across. I beleive that direct action is the
only way in which to raise public awareness, and then hopefully they will
put pressure on the Supermarkets to stock more home produced food.

I dont
think that having the likes of the NFU in England and the equivalent in
Scotland lobbying government and talking to supermarkets is any use at
all. Most of these people in the establishment are simply in it for their
own gain and status … the last thing they do is represent the views of
the smaller farmer. When the NFU speak to government ministers, or
supermarket chiefs, they must wet themselves with laughter.

So my theory is for more militant action. First of all we need to form a
break away Union, specially for smaller farmers and tenant farmers. Lets
say that farms under 1000 acres, under 400 milkers etc. Once this has been
formed across Wales, England Scotland we need an articulate, strong,
committed farmer that is not afraid to rock the boat of the establishment.
This person, and his team, need to be in it for farmers rather than for in
it for a cushy job in Europe or a Knighthood.

Once this has been achieved united action needs to take place. Once a
month for the next 12 months every major city needs bringing to a halt,
but not so it inconveniences the public too much. London, Edinburgh,
Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow etc. All the small farmers
and farm workers with tractors and trailers lobbying government to start

Once this has caught the publics attention the movement needs switching
away from the government to the supermarkets. Every hypermarket in the UK
needs representation by farmers. A couple of tractors and trailers in the
supermarket car park, with a few calves a lambs and piglets for the
children to play with, perhaps on a Saturday and Sunday. Then simply hand
out leaflets to all the customers of the supermarkets firstly explaining
the trouble farming is in. Then explaining that by putting pressure on the
supermarkets to stock more home grown food over foreign imports could turn
our fortunes full circle. It is important that farmers do not simply
scream out for subsidies, that gets NO favor from the public. We need to
be seen to be helping ourselves. Once this campaign has been running for
12 months, every weekend, helping to educate the consumer into the plight
of farmers, whilst heavily promoting the safety of our food, I believe the
pressure will come from the customer. Once this happens the supermarkets
WILL help and WILL give shelf life to Home food rather than imported. They
are not ones to miss a marketing opportunity.

So it needs a break away union of smaller more desperate farmers. No
members of the union can accept Knighthoods, or European jobs, and they
must sign a pledge just to the cause. Agreed, organised action to take
place across the country lobbying government, and then switched to
lobbying the food buying public. Ensuring that information, education and
promotion is at the forefront of everyones minds. Pressure must then be
put on supermarkets once the tide of dis-quiet has begun. Hopefully then
more home produced food can be sold on the home front, and young farmers
like myself can once again return home to farm the land as it has been for
centuries as a family farm.

Good Luck

Chris Lindley, Dublin

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