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to not want to pay rock bottom prices?

(75 Posts)
dolphinsandwhales Mon 17-Mar-14 15:13:47

Disclaimer: I'm not wealthy, I'm a single mum with a job and mortgage and dc to support. However, I feel very uncomfortable when I see the likes of Tesco/ASDA advertising discounted 4 pts of milk for £1 etc. I understand they are a business, but I'd rather pay an extra 30p if that would ensure the farmer is paid a living wage, the animals get a decent standard of life. Same with fruit, veg and other food (I don't buy meat so that's not an issue to me).

I've started to only shop in 'more ethical' supermarkets like co-op and waitrose for this reason, Aibu to think it's in no ones interest for prices to be so cheap that those down the supply chain suffer?

JonSnowsPout Mon 17-Mar-14 15:14:40

No everyone can afford the extra 30p

JonSnowsPout Mon 17-Mar-14 15:15:00


dolphinsandwhales Mon 17-Mar-14 15:15:50

Btw I'd like to re add that I'm not wealthy and have a budget of £50 per week for all meals, inc packed lunches and cleaning/laundry etc, I'd still like to try to make sure suppliers get paid properly.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 17-Mar-14 15:16:16

Yabvu, I hardly think that to someone that 30p means a lot is going to be concerned about anything else.

dolphinsandwhales Mon 17-Mar-14 15:18:28

But surely the 30p means a lot to the farmer too? Or should farmers be pushed out of business by supermarkets?

TheBody Mon 17-Mar-14 15:20:31

sorry no, would love to agree with you and be more ethical, but with 4 adults and 2 teens in the house 30p on each milk is a lot as we get through a lot of milk.

haven't got the luxury to worry about the suppliers I am afraid.

feetlikeahobbit Mon 17-Mar-14 15:23:13

They probably won't be paying less to the farmers just taking a hit on their profit margin I think most farmers get paid about 17p per pint.

Kendodd Mon 17-Mar-14 15:26:19

Well I think it's right to also think about the suppliers, I'm with you op.

Although I have to admit I don't have a lot of sympathy for British farmers, I live in the countryside and have never seen a poor farmer. They are all private schools, brand new Range Rovers and holidays in the Caribbean. Don't believe the tosh they trot out about being poor.

AnaisB Mon 17-Mar-14 15:26:56

I think a lot of these things are loss leaders and the prices in store does not affect what the suppliers are paid (i.e. what feel said.)

ScarletLady02 Mon 17-Mar-14 15:30:48

I would love to be more ethical but I can't afford it, sorry.

worldgonecrazy Mon 17-Mar-14 15:34:46

YANBU - though I appreciate that for some people it is difficult to find that extra 30p.

Should farmers be living on the poverty line or are people no longer allowed to make a decent profit from the work they do? So what if they are driving around in Range Rovers? They supply our most basic product - food - I have no problem with them making decent money.

I am also deeply uncomfortable with the big supermarkets driving down prices by screwing suppliers and pretending they are doing the consumer a favour. Tesco don't give a hoot about their customers or their suppliers, just the bottom line.

noddyholder Mon 17-Mar-14 15:36:32

YANBU This will backfire in the end if some farmers cannot keep operating Then prices will rise. Its about being fair to the people that really matter not fat cats playing games with each other

MoreBeta Mon 17-Mar-14 15:39:03

The problem with supermarkets that there are relatively few of them and they are therefore in economic terms what is called an oligopsony and exert a significant amount of buying power.

"This typically happens in a market for inputs where numerous suppliers are competing to sell their product to a small number of (often large and powerful) buyers.

In each of these cases, the buyers have a major advantage over the sellers. They can play off one supplier against another, thus lowering their costs. They can also dictate exact specifications to suppliers, for delivery schedules, quality, and (in the case of agricultural products) crop varieties. They also pass off much of the risks of overproduction, natural losses, and variations in cyclical demand to the suppliers."

This is very typically a problem in agricultural commodity markets where many small farmers are selling to a few large merchants.

OddBoots Mon 17-Mar-14 15:40:24


Farmers should not be paid too little to be able to afford to live or to be forced to compromise animal welfare, if people can't afford to pay what it costs for those very basic things to be achieved then it is a failure of wages and benefits not that food is too expensive.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Mon 17-Mar-14 15:41:14

I want to pay rock bottom prices and ensure the producers get paid fairly and that I don't constantly hear how much the supermarkets profits have again sky rocketed.

EverythingsDozy Mon 17-Mar-14 15:41:15

I would rather pay a bit more for British milk than have the industry die and HAVE to pay more for milk that has to be imported.

crazyspaniel Mon 17-Mar-14 15:44:44

Well, I know plenty of poor farmers, Ken Dodd, so I don't think you can generalise. It's a very polarised industry. There are many round my way that are struggling to even make £8k a year and have never been on holiday in their lives. Just recently one of them had to sell their farmhouse to some city types and move into a mobile home a couple of fields along.

The problem I see is that farmers around here are no longer growing actual food. They are filling their fields with solar panels and oilseed (rape) or linseed crops instead. This is the inevitable outcome of prices being driven down, and it does not take a genius to work out that this is not a good situation for the long term.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Mon 17-Mar-14 15:45:33

If we paid more for produce i can garuntee the profit will not filter down to the producers

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 17-Mar-14 15:51:05

They may not have cut the price to the farmer.

I noticed last week in our little sainsbos, milk was £1 for 4 pints, so I may call in there for it now rather than the Lidl or iceland where it has been £1 for 4 pints for years now. That's the whole point. It's a loss-leader to get people in on the assumption that will will buy other stuff while they are there.

Like the cheap Easter eggs. I doubt they are short changing the likes of Cadbury or mars, but people will come in for the cheapo 3 for a fiver Easter eggs and do some other shopping once they are in the door.

I go through 4 pints of milk a day. More at weekends. At 30p a day thats £150 a year. The supermarkets aren't going to be putting that in the farmers pocket so it Might as well be in mine.

MoreBeta Mon 17-Mar-14 15:51:29

In the long run, agricultural commodity prices should reflect the long run marginal cost of producing them.

Food prices can fall gradually if farms become larger and more efficient but in truth the quickest way to make food prices to fall is reduce the quality.

Cuxibamba Mon 17-Mar-14 15:52:15

I think 30p is quite a lot. Much better to ensure the money is split fairly between supermarket/producer and so on, meaning the farmer will earn more money, taking into account the farmer's own cost and work, but prices will stay the same.

BumpNGrind Mon 17-Mar-14 15:54:41

OP I agree with you. I don't believe in a race to the bottom and after the winter we've had, I'm sure many farmers are going to struggle and the cost of feeding their cattle will rise as the floods may have ruined harvests etc. I thought the same when I saw the price of milk dropping.

I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination but I do want a British based farming industry that's thriving and I would be prepared to pay an extra 7.5p a litre if I thought farmers had bigger profits and had well looked after animals. Obviously I know this isn't necessarily guaranteed by increasing the prices alone.

I also think that many other parts of our economy could be vastly improved by giving people decent wages and not trapping them in low paid, low hours or god forbid, zero hour contract jobs.

BumpNGrind Mon 17-Mar-14 15:55:37

7.5p a pint*

HoneyDragon Mon 17-Mar-14 15:55:58

You don't necessarily have to pay more to shop ethically if you know what you are buying, and it's a subjective mission as everyone's ethics vary.

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