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Farron tells ministers "give farmers a fair deal or risk the security of Britain's food supply"

February 20, 2008 3:00 PM

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat Countryside Spokesman, has today issued a parliamentary motion calling for the government to intervene to guarantee UK food security by tackling the steady decline in the number of farm units due to financial pressures. Mr Farron says that this decline is due to developments such as the shocking decline in the quota price of milk in the last twenty years, which has crashed from circa 32 pence/litre in 1988 to circa 1 pence/litre in 2008.

Echoing calls at the NFU conference earlier in the day by Nick Clegg for the Government to crack down on supermarkets, Tim Farron MP said:

"It is imperative that British farmers receive a fair deal in their trading with supermarkets. Whilst I appreciate that the market should be the arbiter of prices that should not mean that powerful big businesses have the right to push around the producers."

"Supermarkets are now facing shortages in supply because their greed has put out of business hundreds of farmers. The UK cannot afford to put its security of food supply at risk in this way. Its time to take action"

"No farmer should be forced closer to the breadline by corporate greed, but it is clear that things are not getting better. Although I recognise that there have recently been improvements to dairy prices, these have been swallowed up by increases in the price of fuel and feed, meaning farmers are little better off. I call upon the Government to recognise that sometimes it's more important for the market to be fair than it is to be free"