Message to supermarkets: Do more in 2013 to keep out countryside beautiful

Supermarkets need to do more to encourage better management of our British landscapes, support local food producers, and pay farmers a fair price for the food they produce, says the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

This year CPRE has published its Vision for the Future of Farming and a landmark report on local food, calling for a step-change by our supermarkets to improve the deal for the countryside, local food producers and farmers. The three key steps CPRE want to see them take are:

  • sourcing, stocking, and promoting more foods that contribute towards managing our landscape and its wildlife;
  • supporting local food producers by stocking more local food; and
  • taking fully into account the cost of production when it comes to paying farmers for the food they produce.

Ian Woodhurst, Senior Farming Campaigner for CPRE, says: “2012 has seen highs and lows for farming and the countryside. We’ve celebrated the 25thanniversary. of green farming schemes that help protect and maintain our wonderful countryside. But dairy farmers have faced a crisis as the price they were paid for milk fell below the cost of production, and the bad weather has made growing food a real challenge. In response, some supermarkets started selling imperfect, ‘knobbly’ but still nutritious, fruit and veg to help overcome supply issues; a welcome and sensible step forward.

“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. A new year pledge from the big seven supermarkets can help make the future brighter for our countryside and for those who grow our food.”