Food chain must come together to secure supply

By Hayley Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United kingdom Supply and demand

Food chain must come together to secure supply
Bad relationships threaten production

Strengthening the UK's food chain relationships is essential to secure long-term supplies, according to a report published by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

"Poor food chain relations", as a result of price pressures, undermine the supply and production of food, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU). The union was quoted in a report last month: Securing UK's food supplies to 2050: the challenges faced by the UK.

The NFU said retail suppliers "suffer from weak contractual relations, short-term attitudes, and price unpredictability leading to a lack of confidence and under-investment"

Retailers often demanded retrospective price cuts and forced contributions to promotions from suppliers, said NFU director of policy Martin Haworth, at a Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum seminar last month. He said: "In the short-term this is good news for consumers, but in the long-term it will lead to lower investment in the supply chain, ultimately resulting in less choice, less supply and higher prices."

However, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director at Tesco, stated: "A lot of people in this country need cheap food." Therefore, she said supermarkets had to work with the industry to ensure food is affordable.

l See p28.

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