14 November 2023
Campaign calling for change from Government and 'Big Six' reaches 81,000 signatures.
MORE than 81,000 British shoppers have signed a petition urging the ‘Big Six’ supermarkets and suppliers to treat British growers more fairly, but say their calls for more government involvement and supermarket commitment are still going unanswered.
An open letter was sent to the CEOs of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl several weeks ago as part of the #GetFairAboutFarming campaign, which was launched by organic fruit and veg box company, Riverford.
The petition calls for the government to amend the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP), so that supermarkets are required to buy what they agreed to buy, pay what they agreed to pay, and pay on time, without exception. It has secured the backing of high profile supporters like Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, chef Rick Stein and wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham. Green Party peer Natalie Bennett also backed the campaign and raised it in the House of Lords.
She said: "A handful of big supermarkets have a huge - a dominant - role in British life, their actions crucial in the cost-of-living crisis, for food security in an insecure world, and the fate of farmers and the countrywide. With that power comes responsibility to engage with their critics and questioners, not to ignore them. Society has privileged the supermarkets, carries many of the costs their choices impose on it, from waste disposal to congestion, and in return deserves openness and honesty."
Organisers say they have received no response from the supermarkets to date and urged more people to sign the petition calling for action.