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Fair trade for farmers petition at Westmorland show

September 7, 2010 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron will be asking local residents to support his campaign for fair trade for UK farmers at this Thursdays Westmorland Show.

Tim is campaigning to prevent farmers from being exploited by supermarkets - whether those farmers are from Columbia or Cumbria! A recent report revealed that British milk production could soon dip below demand, leaving us to rely on imports. In addition the profit margin for the big supermarkets on milk is now around 47%, but many dairy farmers are not covering their costs and are going out of business as a result.

These alarming figures have significant implications for the role of England's dairy farmers as environmental stewards of the countryside. The declining milk production will also undermine Britain's food security, its biodiversity targets and attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Tim will be asking people who attend the show to support local dairy farmer's by backing his campaign calling on the government to step in and introduce a regulator. Tim is calling on the Government to bring in a price floor, ensuring that dairy farmers receive more and forcing supermarkets to reduce their profit margin.

Liberal Democrats in government are planning to introduce a supermarket ombudsman to ensure that farmers get a fair price.

Tim commented:

"All too often we are careful to buy Fairtrade goods to help farmers in developing countries, but find ourselves forced to buy goods which exploit hard working British farmers. We often walk down one aisle in the supermarket to buy fair trade coffee, but then walk down another to buy milk for that coffee from exploited British dairy farmers.

"Now we have a seat at the Government table, we can make sure the Liberal Democrats' principle of fairness is brought to the farming industry. Farmers and consumers deserve a fair deal from the supermarkets. If they won't provide that fair deal willingly, then we must regulate them to ensure we get fair trade for British farmers."