Over 30 retailer sites across the UK saw protests by the Proud to Farm group on 13 October. The group is demanding fairer pay and better support for famers. Proud to Farm said via its TikTok page, where it is promoting the protests: “British farmers, British people – it’s time to unite, let’s take on supermarkets, let’s show the government – enough is enough. We all want the same Great British produce for the Great British public, only we can make it happen.”
Last month, food and farming activists called on the chief executives of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl to change their “all too often imbalanced, short terms and wasteful” buying practices, claiming that farmers are “struggling to survive” and agriculture is “on its knees.”
An initial open letter gained more than 100 signatories including Sustain, The Soil Association, chef Rick Stein, Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, and presenters Julia Bradbury and Jimmy Doherty, and the supporting petition has now gained over 60,000 signatures in just over two weeks.
Vegetable box company Riverford Organic, which launched the campaign, found that 49% of British fruit and veg farmers say it’s likely they will go out of business in the next 12 months, with many blaming supermarkets and their buyers.