New figures out today show that four out of five people want new rules put in place to protect farmers in their dealings with the big supermarkets, and that nearly two thirds think that British farmers are not being paid enough for the food they produce.
The NOP poll released today by Friends of the Earth marks the fourth anniversary of the Supermarket Code of Practice. The Code was introduced in 2002 to ensure that supermarkets treat their suppliers fairly - but is widely believed by farmers groups and environmentalists to have failed.
Friends of the Earth: Public backs stronger
Friends of the Earth commissioned the survey on behalf of the Breaking the Armlock Alliance, a group set up to campaign for a stronger statutory Code. The alliance draws together a range of organizations including environmental organisations, farmers and the Women's Institutes.
The poll questioned 1000 adults aged fifteen and over; 65 per cent said they believed that farmers were not getting a fair price for their produce from the supermarkets.
A massive 81 per cent said they would favour the Government bringing in stronger rules to protect farmers in their dealings with the supermarkets.
Friends of the Earth's Supermarkets Campaigner Sandra Bell said:
"This is a clear message to the Government that the British public does care about farmers and that they want action to stop them being bullied by the big supermarkets.
"It seems that shoppers understand better than the Government that it's hard for farmers to produce high quality food and protect the environment if they are being constantly squeezed on price.
"Campaigners have been telling the Government and the Office of Fair Trading for the last four years that the weak Supermarket Code of Practice is not working - perhaps now they will listen."
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