The supermarket price war is affecting all British producers, writes Roger Welberry.
One grower has said: “It got to a point last year where we questioned whether we could continue growing. We are not seeing even a half decent return on our investments”.
Another said: “The price war does little to help anyone, not least the growers who are already squeezed to a level that is almost unsustainable.”
British Growers’ Association research shows that 33 per cent of fruit and vegetable suppliers believe marketing is the main opportunity, followed by technology (10 per cent) and diversification (9 per cent).
Aldi has signed up to the NFU’s fruit and vegetable pledge to help market and promote UK producers. It has adopted 11 commitments on supply chain best practice pledges. It is now hoped that other retailers will follow suit.
The latest statistic shows how the biggest four supermarkets are suffering at the hands of the discount retailers. Tesco market share is 28.2 per cent, Asda 16.7 per cent, Sainsburys 16.2 per cent, Morrisons 10.7 per cent, Aldi 5.6 per cent and Lidl 4.2 per cent.
But growth figures are different story: Sainsburys up 0.9 per cent, Tesco and Morrisons fell by 1.4 per cent, Asda fell by 2.9 per cent. Yet Aldi and Lidl achieved growth figures of 17.3 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
Here’s hoping the others will take their lead.