Category Archives: Farm Table News – a chat about farming

Supermarket Tactics

I do shop in supermarkets which includes Tesco.

But some people in the farming community are concerned at the power Tesco has.

Tesco’s turnover is £28bn.  This is more than half the total EU agricultural budget which is £52bm.

Tescos makes £55m profit a week. 

This shows Tesco can still make a profit and should be able to treat farmers fairly at the same time. 

There are stories of contracts being cancelled at short notice.  Farming is in an industry where growing a crop takes time and patience.  When a supermarket cancel the contract at short notice  the farmer will have bought the seed, spent time and money planting it and growing it, only to be told that the contract has been cancelled.    There are allegations of price cuts to the farmer as well.

Farmers will not want to lose this business at short notice and are not in a good price bargaining position.

I think many people think farmers are their own boss and have an idyllic life style, but there is a lot of stress as well.  Farmers have to make a profit (and why not every other business does) or else they would have to sell their farm and their home. 

I cannot believe that there would be stories of Tesco bullying suppliers if there was not some truth in it.  Why would farmers make this up.

Supermarkets are so powerful and individual farmers so powerless that individual farmers do not want to be named as they do not want to be delisted or get a bad name among supermarkets.

Forest Farming

I watched a programme last week (the name of which I’ve forgotten, but will find out)

It was about what will happen when oil runs out – as it surely will.

Independently from each other farmers and gardeners have been looking at this.  Some for a number of years.

One of the answers seems to be something called forest farming.  This in a way is ‘layered’ gardening. 

The ground provides some fruit, higher up shrubs provide more food and even higher the trees help as well.

We would not grow wheat as much and would have to change out diet a little but these people think this is the way forward.

At the moment it costs a lot to put fertiliser on the soil to help the soil produce our food.  By using the  Forest Farming way the fertiliser is supplied naturally, by leaf mould, bird droppings and other items.

This can be done in a garden or on a big scale.

Must remember and find out more about the programme.

But it was heartening to think that we in this Country have the means to feed our selves, keep the countryside natural and help wildlife at the same time.

It may not all be doom and gloom.