Thank you for contacting me about farmers and food retailers.
I would like to assure you that the Government is committed to working with businesses and organisations across the food supply chain, including farmers, manufacturing and distribution businesses and retailers, to ensure that we have a thriving food sector in the UK. I welcome that representatives from the whole food supply chain came together at Downing Street in May 2023 to identify ways in which the Government and industry can work together to boost growth, drive innovation, and improve sustainability in the food sector.
I am aware of the petition on Parliament’s website relating to the Grocery Supply Code of Practice. Regarding the Westminster Hall debate on the petition, which is currently scheduled to take place on 22 January, I plan to attend this if my diary commitments allow.
Ministers are committed to tacking contractual unfairness that can exist in the agri-food supply chain and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is working to support farmers and ensure they get a fair price for their products.
The Government has launched a review to improve fairness in the fresh produce supply chain, supporting British farmers and growers to receive a fair price for their products and ensuring customers have access to high-quality fresh British products. This review delivers on a key commitment made by the Prime Minister at the Farm to Fork Summit in May and will seek the views of industry on issues including the fairness of contracts between producers and purchasers in the sector, and how supply chain data can be used to support transparency in the negotiation process.
The review, which is open until 22 February, can be found here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/supply-chain-fairness/contractual-relationships-in-the-uk-freshproduce-i/
You might be interested to know that I worked with colleagues in Parliament to back calls for 'Buy British', and I supported my colleague, Luke Evans, MP campaign for a 'Buy British' section online. This will enable supermarkets to highlight British produce and make it easier for people to choose British produce when doing online grocery shopping. Morrisons has already signed up to do this, which is excellent news and has a British tab which collates fruit, veg meat, dairy etc in one easy place.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP.