THE big four supermarket chains are still bullying farmers and growers into accepting unfair prices - despite an agreement drawn up last year by the Office of Fair Trading.
A survey by Friends of the Earth say that the relationship is still heavily weighted in favour of the retailers despite the Supermarket Code of Practice agreed last year between all parties.
The code was supposed to prevent the retailers from using their vast buying power from forcing producers to accept prices so low that many of them can no longer work profitably - yet another cause of the stampede from the land which has worried the Government and other countryside agencies.
The Country Landowners' and Business Association (CLA) has reacted angrily to the survey. It is demanding that the Office of Fair Trading continuously monitors the practices of the four supermarkets to which the code applies - and make the rules laid down by the code legally enforceable.