The Fair Deal idea was prompted by hearing from Peggy Sumner, an admirable Lancashire farmer in her 80s, that for the last two years she’d had no option but to sell her beef cattle [from a farm with a completely disease-free record] at below the cost of raising them.
13 March 2000
The Farmers’ Union of Wales [FUW] launches a Fair Deal for Farmers campaign: a series of lobbies is planned throughout Wales, where local farmers will tell shoppers of the great discrepancy in price they receive for their products compared with the price charged in supermarkets.
18 April 2000
Farmers Guardian, Letters: George Lockett, when a sheep farmer in Wales, wrote: I feel that farmers . . . should not be supplying the supermarkets and their suppliers at prices below the National Minimum Wage (£3.60 per hour). George was paid 70p an hour by the Wool Marketing Board & unsuccessfully took his case to an Industrial Tribunal.
15 November 2002
Bruce Crowther, Oxfam Group Garstang, delivers an address at Lancaster University: “Competitiveness & Co-operation; The Future of Rural Cumbria & Lancashire” and says:
Wouldn’t it be nice to see a Fair Trade Mark on products like milk and British lamb so that when these people do their shopping they can be sure that the local farmer is also getting a fair price for his produce?
1 August 2003
Farmers Guardian reports: The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) and other organisations produced a report showing that the cost of milk production is much higher than current estimates state. Farmer remuneration, family labour costs, pensions and staff development had not been included in any of the current assessments. The RABDF plans to raise the profile of its new costing system through the media and to discuss the producers’ position with Government, supermarkets and processors.
17 September 2004
Farmers Guardian reports: A `Just Milk’ campaign was launched by Farm, the independent voice of farmers, at a Dairy Event in Warwickshire
29 April 05
Farmers Guardian reports: Welsh Assembly Countryside Minister to listen to the case for establishing a Welsh brand of `Fair Deal’ milk.
11 March 2006
Michael Hart [Small and Family Farmers' Alliance] by email – following negotiations with the Soil Association & the Fairtrade Foundation, writes: While I continue to like the idea of fair trade for UK farmers (in fact for all farmers). I suspect that, in order to work, it have to be done by the UK farming organisations working together . . .
13 March 2006
Solihull Observer – MP Caroline Spelman writes: I believe we should include our own farmers on this fair trade campaign.
3 July 2006
Guardian article: Sir Stuart Hampson, chairman of the John Lewis partnership, which owns Waitrose, calls for supermarkets to show that “Fairtrade” applies to UK farmers as much as it does to developing countries. In the same report: the supermarket giant Asda has sought advice from the Fairtrade Foundation, which polices the scheme in Britain, to see whether it can adapt its principles for home-grown produce. http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1811250,00.html
20 November 2006
Lindsay Hoyle MP initiates EDM 166: FARMGATE PRICES calling on the Government to work with supermarkets to ensure that UK dairy farmers have a minimum farmgate price set for milk at 20 pence per litre.
30 January 2007
On the BBC News website [Gloucs] we read that the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) petition has been signed by 72,000. The NFWI is urging action to ensure a sustainable dairy industry where farmers receive a fair price for their milk. MP Caroline Spelman presented the petition to parliament.
14 February 2007
The Stirrer web-paper publishes news of Plantation Cottage Herbs nomination of Capers of Pershore for the first Fair Deal Award by the West Midlands-based Attwood Group http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/bp1402071.html
2 March 2007
John Lewis Partnership Gazette online – Steven Esom, Managing Director, Waitrose speaks about Waitrose’s fairer future for farming. Relationship between retailers and their suppliers must go ‘back to basics’. http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/display.aspx?masterid=a9972f0a-9ad1-491b-9bb9-1287ea0b4ca2&navigationid=832
21 May 2007
Harriet Lamb of the Fairtrade Foundation writes to Fair Deal Awards: I do completely applaud all efforts to support UK farmers and therefore wish you the best of luck with your future work.
22 June 22, 2007
The lead story in the farming section of the Aberdeen Press and Journal reports: Yesterday, at the Royal Highland Show, the Church of Scotland launched a report that called for a fair trade label for Scottish agricultural produce to ensure a more equitable share of margins in the food chain.
Localise West Midlands agrees to support the Fair Deal project of the Attwood group by researching, writing and organising the publication of press releases to raise awareness of the Fair Deal Project and the wider UK Fair-trade issue.
31 July 2007
MP Elfyn Llwyd wrote: I believe that progress is now being made in the National Assembly for Wales to initiate a Welsh Brand and to ensure adequate payment to producers.
On the website of Mick Bates [Member of the Welsh Assembly] we can read about: A ‘Fair Deal’ for farmers – encouraging Welsh fair trade milk
27 September 2007
Peter Kendall, NFU president, wrote: A campaign is to be launched later* this autumn as part of the recovery programme from FMD, based around a “new deal” with the British public, under which we will provide greater food security, beautiful countryside, high standards of animal welfare, reduced food miles and renewable energy in return for fair prices for our products – beef, lamb and pork especially. *Now launched – see Farmers Guardian 16.11.07
26 October 2007
The Farmers Guardian newspaper & Country Living magazine collected 52,000 signatures on their Fair Trade for British Farmers petition, presented to Lord Rooker this week. They have found that: since the Fair Trade for British Farmers campaign was launched in February, there has been a noticeable shift in attitude among supermarkets towards their UK suppliers. Retailers have delivered a series of price rises, seemingly recognising their responsibility in securing the future of British farming.
Farmers Guardian reports: The European Milk Board [EMB] launches a Fair Milk Campaign in Scotland next week. Its symbol is ‘Faironika’ – a blue cow with two calves.
9 November 2007
Farmers Guardian reports: The Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) calls for fair trade for British farmer. EIAG chairman John Reynolds said: “Farmers are asking for no more than a fair price for a fair product”.
14 December 2007
Birmingham Mail, Solihull Times, Solihull News and the Stirrer web-newspaper report that dairy farmer Andrew Hemming has nominated the Waitrose supermarket chain for a Fair Deal Award, saying: Waitrose have led the way for promoting fair trade for British farmers and we have been able to use their better and fairer terms as leverage to encourage other supermarkets to adopt fairer practices towards their producers. By publicising positive examples like Waitrose using its buying power responsibly the fair deal awards can raise awareness and encourage more buyers and consumers to support a fair deal for British food producers. The award was presented to Branch Manager Rob Snape-Johnson on 13th December as part of a scheme organised by Localise West Midlands, which aims to encourage a fair return for food producers.
18 December 2007
MP Roger Williams presents Early Day Motion 622: FAIR TRADE FOR BRITISH FARMING
15 February, 2008
There is a national movement to form producer groups on a regional basis to get a structured and viable price for fat lambs. A Dales Lamb Co-operative is proposed. It could help to address the manipulation of lamb prices by the existing marketing systems and ensure there is a future and indeed employment for all concerned in the industry.
21 February 2008
Amy Longrigg of Localise West Midlands organises the second West Midlands Fair Deal award; Charlotte Hollins of Fordhall Farm, Shropshire, nominated the farm shop customers who give a fair price for the farm’s produce.
27 February 2008
MP Tim Farron introduces EDM 1067: Country Living magazine Fair Trade for British Farmers campaign.
29 February 2008
Farmers Guardian: “The Scottish government will do all we can to support fair trade for Scotland’s farmers. Retailers need consumers to survive but they need suppliers as well. If farmers disappear from the land, the food chain will break”: Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs.
4 March 2008
A rally, organised by the National Pig Association (NPA), saw hundreds of protesters gathered outside Downing Street calling for fairer prices for British pig farmers. A petition was handed to the Prime Minister with over 13,000 signatures supporting the campaign.
11 March 2008
Inspired by Peter Kendall’s suggestion [by letter 7.2.08: “I am sure it would be very helpful if LWM were to co-ordinate these various campaigns, and thank you for everything that you are doing. It really is much appreciated”] Localise West Midlands begins to collect the web links to other campaigns for a fair deal for British food producers. These will be added to their website: http://www.localisewestmidlands.org.uk/fairdeal/campaigns-links.htm
20 March 2008
Wyre Borough Councillors in Lancashire, when considering Fairtrade status, came up with the idea that local producers also need some sort of ‘Mark of Recognition’. They wrote and are making further enquiries, hoping to take this forward.
6 April 6 2008 – Mid Devon Star
Supporting a campaign to make Devon a Fairtrade County Devon farmer Andy Bragg says: “Fairtrade is a brilliant concept when buying goods that we can’t grow in the UK like tea, coffee or fruit, but I wish people would start talking about Fairtrade at home too . . . But it would need the strength of charismatic co-operative leaders and greater respect for local farmers from both the supermarkets and consumers”. Martin Odoch, a visiting Ugandan Fairtrade tea producer added “I believe it is very important that people in Devon buy both local and Fairtrade products wherever possible, in order to support farmers who may otherwise get the worst deal.”
June 2008 – from Bruce Crowther in Lancashire
On June 29th Fylde Borough will declare Fairtrade Borough status. They have always linked their campaign to that of local farmers who were present at the original campaign launch and will be at their declaration.
At Westminster Hall on the 9th, William Taylor, from Coleraine Northern Ireland, coordinator of Farmers for Fairness in Europe, spoke persuasively under the heading: Prosperous Family Farmers Could Feed the World. He outlined an effective answer to one of the two subjects suggested: How can supermarkets be persuaded to pay fair prices to farmers when apparently their ambition is not merely to make a profit, but to increase their profit each year?Northern Ireland farmers had combined to achieve effective collective bargaining power and Tesco had agreed not to import beef when there was enough supply in the country.
At the Stoneleigh Royal Agricultural Show, Rugby Farmers Mart, which has now relocated to Stoneleigh Park, received a Fair Deal Award [organiser Renee van Baar, Localise West Midlands]. RFM was nominated by Brian Swift of Hazel Farm Bickenhill for providing a good service to farmers. He has been selling his beef cattle there for many years and gets a good return.
All beef farmer members of Farmers for Action are being urged to use a ‘cost increase’ letter stating the price they require from abattoirs they supply. This will ‘extract at least the cost of production from the market’. Other beef farmers and farm organisations will be asked to participate.
Joint publicity from the National Farmers’ Union Scotland and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum:
“At first, Fairtrade and Scottish farming might seem unlikely bedfellows since Fairtrade is generally associated with the developing world. In reality however, NFUS and the SFTF share key common values. We both work to ensure food is produced in a manner that promotes and enhances the sustainability of agriculture and the wellbeing of families who rely on it. We both want a ‘Fair Deal’ for producers, whether for farmers in Scotland or in places like Malawi.” http://www.stackyard.com/news/2008/11/nfus/04_fair_trade_forum.html
Debbie and Andrew Keeble, farmers and co-founders of the sausage-making company will be launching the UK’s first fair trade scheme for British pig farmers. They have pledged to pay a 15% premium for all of the pork they source from January, with this money being passed directly to farmers and, importantly, processors.