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MP welcomes Archbishop of York's support for his Fairtrade for UK farmers campaign

August 6, 2012 3:18 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed Dr John Sentamu to the campaign for Fair Trade for UK farmers after the Archbishop called for a UK label to be introduced.

In an interview Dr Sentamu said: 'Cheap imports are flooding the market and British farmers are not getting a fair deal. We should demand fairness not just for workers overseas, but also at home too. Why not buy British farm produce and take less in imports?'

He added: 'I would love to see a Fairtrade mark for British goods.'

The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale has regularly spoken out on behalf of farmers and has been described by the NFU as a 'true ally' of farmers. Tim has backed the NFU and farmers over the recent milk price cuts.

Speaking in Environment Questions in Parliament recently, he urged Farming Minister Jim Paice to take action and urgently call together dairy processors and buyers.

The MP said: "Not only is what they [the processors] are doing morally wrong, but also destructive to the industry as low milk prices has led to a 50 per cent drop in the number of dairy holdings across the UK between 1995 and 2010."

Last year Tim tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament proposing the establishment of a domestic fair trade classification to enableUKfarmers to be protected from exploitation by large corporations, such as supermarkets, to prevent them paying below cost prices for goods.

Welcoming Dr Sentamu to the campaign Tim commented: "UK farmers are the life blood of the nation and we need to ensure that they get a fair price for the goods they produce. Just as the global Fairtrade Foundation works to promote ethical purchasing and trade justice for farmers and producers in developing countries, so we need to do the same in our country.

"This is a very important issue in my constituency, and I will continue to lobby the government until steps are taken to prevent the exploitation of our farmers''