The pricing discrepancy between the prices Tesco pays to farmers and what it charges customers have reached an “unacceptable” level, according to a new report. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said that many British farmers were living in a “parallel universe” regarding the prices they receive from supermarkets compared to what shoppers pay.
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The NFU report found that while farmers were receiving as little as 20p for a cauliflower, Tesco was charging its customers £1.50 for the same item – with no additional cost or quality difference. This type of disparity has been happening across multiple food products, leading to farmers’ incomes falling significantly over recent years.
Responding to the accusations, Tesco said it worked to ensure that consumers and farmers shared the benefits of a sustainable food system. A spokesperson for Tesco said: “We pay our suppliers fairly and recognise their role in providing us with fresh and quality produce.”
The NFU, however, claimed that supermarkets need to do more to support British farmers, who they say are struggling to make ends meet due to the imbalanced pricing system. The union calls on supermarkets to be more transparent about how much they’re paying producers and open up pricing negotiations.
This report is part of an ongoing debate between UK supermarket chains and farming organisations over fair pricing standards. While some progress has been made, critics have suggested that there is still “a long way to go” before the issue is adequately addressed. As such, this controversy will likely remain a major talking point in the UK food industry for some time. It remains to be seen what further action will be taken by both parties to address the current situation.
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