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Farmers hold protest over money received for products
by - 26/07/2012
"Northern Ireland farmers are holding a protest later over the gap between what money they receive for food produce and what customers pay.
In a bid to highlight the disparity, the Ulster Farmers' Union is setting up a shop at its headquarters on Belfas"
Northern Ireland farmers are holding a protest later over the gap between what money they receive for food produce and what customers pay.
In a bid to highlight the disparity, the Ulster Farmers' Union is setting up a shop at its headquarters on Belfast's Antrim Road.
It will be selling products not at supermarket prices, but at the price farmers receive for their products.
Union president Harry Sinclair said he wanted to highlight how little this is.
"Today is all about highlighting a food chain which isn't working," he said.
"A lot of people don't realise the differential between the farm gate price and the price they pay on the shelf.
"If people want local food in the future, we have to have a profit on farms to maintain that production."
Andrew Addison, a dairy farmer from Ballinderry in County Antrim, said he was struggling to live on what he was paid by the supermarkets.
"The past two months we have received 20.8 pence a litre for our milk and at that level it's just not sustainable," he said.
"We feel there is too much money being made by the supermarkets and they are not passing that amount of profit back to farmers."
Michael Bell of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, a group that represents food manufacturing firms, said the government needed to appoint an independent mediator to deal with disputes between farmers, processors and retailers.
"It is a food supply chain, and we're all in this together," he said.
"For quite a period of time we have been advocating a grocery code of practice adjudicator - we need a referee to deal with issues internally in the chain."
More Details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18988770