Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, the pig farmer and creator of The Black Farmer meat brand, has launched an attack on his supermarket customers - accusing them of paying only "lipservice" to local sourcing.
Emmanuel-Jones, who has been selected as a Tory candidate at the next election, said the multiples were simply "money-making machines with no community responsibility" who should face tough new trading rules. "They talk about local sourcing and regionalisation but are only paying lipservice," he said, adding that the government should introduce measures to force supermarkets to source 40% of produce lolcally and hand over car parks to farmers' markets once a month.
"We need protectionism to allow smaller companies to continue to innovate," said Emmanuel-Jones. "If I succeed in the next general election it is my great ambition to get into Defra, which desperately needs people from the food business."
Emmanuel-Jones first secured a listing for The Black Farmer sausages in Asda's south west stores in 2004. His ranges are now listed in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.
Sainsbury's insisted it was committed to its regional sourcing programme. "In 2007 we appointed 12 regional managers responsible for developing our regional sourcing programme and for supporting and expanding the 3,000 regionally-produced products we already sell in our stores," said a spokeswoman.