Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Rural charity believes producers can join forces to beat the supermarkets

17:12 27 December 2012

Farmers' market at Snape Maltings

Farmers' market at Snape Maltings

Archant

Farmers compelled to adapt and survive

A RURAL charity is urging independent Suffolk producers to work together, as campaigners call for supermarkets to improve links with the countryside.

Dr Wil Gibson, chief executive of charitable support group Suffolk ACRE, encouraged the region’s thriving network of small producers to consider “collective marketing”, following a report into the sale of local food in supermarkets.

Responding to calls from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) for supermarkets to give more support to the better management of the countryside, local food producers and farmers, Dr Gibson instead proposed the establishment of a cooperative channel for distribution.

He said: “We have such a network of local small producers that we should be thinking about how to market collectively. We ought to be working together for collective distribution and asking what can be done better to get the product out there.”

The CPRE has sent a “New Year’s message” urging the seven biggest supermarkets to stock more local food, improve the deal for local producers and farmers, and source, stock and promote more foods that contribute to managing the countryside.

Ian Woodhurst, senior farming campaigner for CPRE, said: “Supermarkets have improved their environmental performance, particularly in terms of energy use. But there are other areas where CPRE believes they could do more, which is why our members are calling on them to make a New Year’s resolution to give more support to the better management of our countryside, local food producers and farmers in 2013.”

Dairy farmers this year faced a battle over escalating production costs and the prices they are paid for milk.

Bad weather also made growing food a real challenge and disrupted the harvest for many farmers, leading supermarkets to relax restrictions on the supply of misshapen fruit and vegetables.

Dr Gibson agreed that some supermarkets had improved environmental performance and urged local producers to become truly independent by considering the conversion of raw materials into finished products.

He added: “We are seeing more and more supermarkets arriving in Suffolk, but at the same time we have seen a real explosion in the local production of food.

“A lot of farmers growing primary products could come together and begin to enter secondary production.

“We have to recognise the evidence of local demand and adapt to survive.”

1 comment

  • Having visited a few farmers' markets and seen the prices they charge, I don't think the supermarkets will be too worried.

    Report this comment

    JOHN BURLS

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

RAF Honington - Barnham Camp.

A 62-year-old motorcyclist who died at the scene of a two vehicle collision near RAF Barnham on Thursday has been named as Peter Hancock from Sudbury.

Made in Dagenham's Daniella Bowen and cast. Photo: Mark Sepple

It’s been nearly 50 years since women workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant went on strike for equal rights, writes Wayne Savage.

Do you know this man? Police have released an e-fit image following a burglary in Braintree

Police have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection to a burglary in Braintree.

Ipswich Crown Court

A father stabbed by his son more than 30 times during a row about a printer has asked a court for a restraining order banning all contact between them to be reinstated.

Fire Service Stock Pictures

A fire engine from Ipswich’s Princes Street station was called to extinguish a fire in a pile of rubbish this morning.

People in Earl Soham are concerned about the erosion of their village green.

It is the proud centrepiece of many an English village - but in one Suffolk community it is disappearing by the day.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service image.

Firefighters were called earlier this morning to a gas cooker fire at The Anchor pub, Walberswick.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24