THE DEAL FARMERS GET FROM SUPERMARKETS LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED
- Category: Agriculture
In the current economic climate, indigenous industry is vital to our survival and recovery. The ability of large supermarkets to force small farmers and producers out of the industry is extremely worrying. The difference between the price supermarkets buy produce for and sell it for is astounding. Agriculture is vital to our exports as well as providing food for our own people. You can watch Mick's speech in full here. We are all fairly well aware that we are short on indigenous industry and very dependent on multinationals to provide employment and to drive the export market. Of the indigenous industry, farming accounts for approximately 60% of exports and it plays a significant role in the domestic economy. There is little doubt that the deal the farmer gets from supermarkets leaves much to be desired. I note the farmer’s share has changed in a number of years. The report, Equity for Farmers in the Food Supply Chain, states: The farmer’s share of the retail price has declined significantly in the major commodities over the last 15 years. For example, since 1995 the farmer’s share of the retail price for liquid milk has declined from 42% to 33%. For cheese, the farmer’s share has fallen from 34% to 20%, for pigmeat from 51% to 27%, and for beef from 60% to 50%. The multiple chains have grown stronger in this country. Successive Governments have allowed the small shopkeeper and small farmers to be pushed out. We are familiar with the practice of hello money which enabled farmers and producers to put their products on supermarket shelves but this practice has been banned. However, it is alive and well today under a different name. They call it advertising marketing contribution. This allows the multiple to dictate who will survive and who will not, with the result that many small farmers have been driven out of business. They are unable to compete. The person who grows 10,000 tonnes of tomatoes has a significant advantage over the person who grows one or two tonnes of tomatoes. There is no fairness in the system. This country has an obligation to protect agriculture which is the only decent indigenous industry we have.