The front page of the October edition of the NFU British Farmer and Grower magazine provided a very powerful message regarding the value of the NFU, writes Steve Barber from Spalding NFU.
Steve says thatot only to its own members but to the British public as a whole with its photograph of farmers from all over Europe coming together in Brussels to send a strong message to EU politicians under the headline of ‘Standing Together’.
The message is relevant at all levels of the organisation with the NFU and its members representing British interests in Europe, as well as nationally with the UK Government and indeed at local level in discussions with MPs and local decision makers.
Volatility within markets breeds uncertainty and vice versa, as clearly indicated in financial markets such as the FTSE100, and the same is true of farm gate prices, whether it be dairy products, lamb or cereals etc. When will the large retailers realise that they are playing with people’s livelihoods by intentionally selling basic food products such as bread and milk at below production price levels to encourage shoppers to buy higher profit margin products in their stores.
We often discuss within our own business the key principle of treating our customers fairly and it is to be hoped that the work of the NFU in championing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice and the Grocery Code Adjudicator will begin to show positive outcomes in treating suppliers fairly. It will, however, be a long and painful process.
By Standing Together farmers and growers will have a better chance to influence the payment they receive for their products.