New campaign group Proud to Farm has warned of further action to come after its protests at major retailer distribution hubs last week.
The group said it was now working with other food sector bodies “who have the skill-set and knowledge” to take the campaign further after the protests on 13 October. These saw it blockade six distribution centres across the country owned by the big four supermarkets in protest over low returns to farmers.
The campaign’s leader, who asked not to be named, told The Grocer farmers were “struggling to feed themselves, they can’t keep their own houses”.
“Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for what they do and no one should be in a position where their job drives them to suicide,” the campaigner added.
The protests follow months of warnings from farmers that returns were failing to keep up with rising costs.
In August, NFU research revealed 10% of dairy farmers were planning on ending production within the next two years. Growers warned this month production levels had fallen by up to 20% for some UK crops.
At the end of last year, farmers and producers were sometimes receiving far less than 1% of the profit for the food produced, according to data from Sustain.
“The money that gets to the bottom needs to make sure it covers the cost of production and a bit more because everyone always moves the goal posts for farmers,” said Proud to Farm’s leader.
He added that “the money is there” but “somewhere along the line, there’s a lot of money disappearing” and he “just want[s] farmers to be paid what they deserve”.