Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Farmer and the Bishop

To Guardian reports on unfair practices from Supermarkets in their dealings with Farmers and states that the reason Farmers are not speaking out is because they do not want to upset their relationships with food retailers.

Supermarkets are guilty of "invisible and pernicious practices" that threaten the livelihood of farmers, the Church of England warned yesterday.

I find that incredibly sad and at the same time, I can entirely empathise with their feeling of ' not wanting to bite the hand that feeds you'.

The report, Fair Trade Begins at Home, highlighted instances where farmers had suffered in the supermarket's pursuit for cheap produce.

In my work supporting families in crisis I listened out not only for what was being said but what was not being said. When you take the time to listen to the silences, the spaces in between the words, you could sometimes feel the fear. Often in their situation it was the fear of having their children taken into care, others were unable to speak up because their partners abused them in a variety of ways and speaking up would put their lives in danger. It makes me believe that farmers are alone with pressure from all sides, the government legislation, the supermarket's purchasing power, financial hardship, pressure from banks......quite a lot to be pushed about. How can we the consumer throw a lifeline! If you are a farmer, please feel free to leave an anonymous comment.

The UK has a free market economy and as such we should be able to spend our money in ways that reflect our values and beliefs. I am not sure what the article evokes in you but as consumer it makes me uncomfortable.....


Mark said...

Hi Anne ,
thought you were going to tell a joke with the title....no no its the actress and the bishop...lol

Cheers Mark

Downshiftingpath said...

I wish it were a joke...apologies for being so serious....
I do think I could do with cheering up a bit, so am off to have some chocolate and a relaxing night in.

Kimberley said...

Hi, Anne:

I have just discovered your blog via Irish Sally Gardens, and have been enjoying reading through your posts. I completely agree with you about buying locally and in-season. I think that one appreciates food so much more when one meets the person who grows it, and I think that it is so important for children to grow up having that connection-- with both the farmer AND the food.

Kudos to you for speaking out on this and other topics of such importance.