HEATED debate as British farmers facing 'IMPOSSIBLE' life due to cheap supermarket demands

HEATED debate as British farmers facing 'IMPOSSIBLE' life due to cheap supermarket demands
British farmers facing 'IMPOSSIBLE' life due to cheap supermarket demands
GB News
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 30/01/2024

- 15:54

French farmers are on strike due to 'falling incomes, increasing bureaucracy and cheap imports'

A heated debate broke out between a dairy farmer and the research director at the Adam Smith Institute.

It comes as French farmers blockade the roads in Paris as they strike against "falling incomes, increasing bureaucracy and cheap imports".

Speaking to GB News, dairy farmer Charles Goadby explained: "It just shows what a dire situation it is and the strength of feeling that's out there.

"Life is getting impossible. We've seen our input costs just spiral beyond control almost at times.

An image from the German farmers' protestFarmers have been protesting for fairer regulations GETTY

"Yet at the same time, we're being dictated to by the supermarkets and larger retailers that we've got to produce for less. We're seeing attacks almost from both sides.

"We are producing under regulations that demand we have the highest animal welfare standards and we have the highest environmental and sustainability standards in the world.

"That comes at a cost to us to produce to those standards. So when we're seeing produce come in from undercutters that don't meet those standards, it is a kick in the teeth."

However, the research director at the Adam Smith Institute Maxwell Marlow felt "farmers need to be competing".

Maxwell Marlow , Tom Harwood, Emily Craver, Charles Goadby

The pair debated on GB News

GB News

He said: "Farmers need to be competing, they're not at the moment.

"Yes, Charles is right about high standards and those are expensive. Unfortunately what we're seeing is a very uncompetitive industry at the teat of Government sucking up a lot of subsidy from the taxpayer.

"Whereas consumers are paying the price, whether that is through their taxes or higher food prices."

GB News host Emily Carver then asked him: "We've been talking a lot about the prospect of an all-out war. Is it not vitally important that we have our food supplies in this country and that we can be reasonably self-sufficient with something as important as food?"

Aldi farmer

Farmers are being undercut by supermarkets


Marlow agreed: "Of course it is. And nobody's arguing to abolish the farming industry, but they need to become more innovative.

"When you look at capital spending for productivity in the farming industry in the UK, it's some of the lowest in Europe.

"We need to have a serious conversation about that, especially following your previous segment about labor shortages in the farming industry.

"It's important that we have a good sustainable industry in the UK. But you can do that in line with a lot of the really good free trading agreements that we should be going for.

"During the Second World War, for example, we imported a lot of food from the US."

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