Take a Moment – Fair Trade for British Farmers

Have you heard of the food chain? When you buy in the supermarket you are at the end of it.

At the beginning is the farmer.

I belong to a family who farm, we’ve been farming for generations & I grew up with the farm as my playground with my cousins. We used to get sent out by my Grandma to collect eggs, sometimes the hens would hide their eggs in the hay barn, they were my happiest days growing up, being packed off with a picnic of jam sandwiches & a basket to collect eggs.

My Grampy is 100 years old & has farmed all his life.  My Uncle Stephen took over the farm from him & with his wife they now run our family farm. They are tenant farmers.

My Uncle runs a dairy farm & he also grows corn.  I was talking to my Dad about it & we talked a lot about how things are not easy at the moment & the milk price he is paid is falling.  Supermarkets use cheap milk to attract customers.  £1 for 2 litres is common & I have seen it for as little as 89p.

My Uncle sells his milk to ARLA & they make many products that can be found in most supermarkets.  ARLA products include Anchor Butter, Cheese & spread (often on offer), Cravendale Milk which is higher in price with a longer use by date.  Also Lurpack Butter & spread & Alpetina Cheese.  Castello creamy blue cheese & Lactofree milk, cheese & yogurt.

My children, especially SH, love going to the farm & seeing the cows.  Most of all though he loves Tractors.  I love tractors, cows, fresh air & the hard working ethos of my family’s farm.  It makes my heart sink when I see milk being sold for so little a price, if the price of the milk is low, then the price which is then paid to the farmer is low.

If FAIR TRADE is such a big deal in our supermarkets for the farmers abroad, then why aren’t we making a bigger fuss about it here?  On a Facebook thread about it the other day a lady commented that if she could buy milk direct from the farmer (to give them all the money for the pint of milk) then she would.  Since the milk has to go through a process that’s impossible. But it must be possible to give OUR farmers who work so hard , a fair price for their milk?  I really don’t know how.

I’m opening this up to all of you, I want your comments & I want you to share this post.  I don’t have any answers, you could buy the products above which would drive up demand & hopefully get my Uncle a better price for his milk.  But what about all the other farmers? I can’t help but think there’s a bigger issue here.  I want to see FAIR TRADE for OUR farmers, not just farmers in other countries.  Before they can’t sustain doing it anymore.

Should I be writing to someone? My MP, the PM, the milk board?

I really don’t know, but I do know that this country without farms would be the saddest day for us all.  The frustrating thing is that consumers want the farmers to get a fair price, do we have any choice in the matter as consumers?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.


Lizzie XO


6 thoughts on “Take a Moment – Fair Trade for British Farmers”

  1. Thought provoking blog Lizzy. I have decided to buy Arla products is support of Steve. I really like the taste of their blue top milk and it lasts ages in the fridge.

  2. Great article and totally agree. Both sets of my grandparents were farmers and were able to raise their families on what they brought in. Now I don’t know how a farmer can survive whether it’s dairy or agriculture. We are seeing precious farmland be sold here in the state and development building on it. Don’t have any answers except feel the farmer should be paid more!

  3. I agree Lizzie…it isn’t fair on our farmers! Unfortunately most people go for the cheapest when money is tight! Thanks for the heads up about ARLA tho…will look out for it!

  4. Thanks Dad! After our conversation I started buying Anchor butter. It’s only a little bit more & often on offer. I think people just need to think a bit more about where their food comes from xo

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