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Farron says it's now time for fair trade for farmers after shocking report

December 3, 2010 12:00 AM
TF and NFU

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today called a report that says 25% of farmers are living in poverty a 'major wake up call' and has called for urgent action to save the industry.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today called a report that says 25% of farmers are living in poverty a 'major wake up call' and has called for urgent action to save the industry.

A quarter of farming households live below the official poverty line with an income of less than £20,000, according to a Commission for Rural Communities report published on Wednesday.

The report says upland livestock farms are the most likely to be affected, as well as those on tenant farms.

For the majority, the ability to earn income off-farm is now essential to subsidise traditional livelihoods, the report found. Overall nearly two out of three farms had some form of off-farm income in 2008/09 and the total income from diversified activities was £300 million.

Tim said: "This report was shocking to be honest and it plays out with what I hear at my weekly surgeries. I see farmers who struggle to keep going and just to pass on the farm to their children. It really is high time we give farmers a fair deal. I am doing all I can to make sure that their concerns are heard. We need a strong supermarket regulator as soon as possible and we need to provide fair trade for British farmers."