– Contextualise farming from old times to modern day
– Say stereotypes
– Explain about farm diversification and urban agriculture
– Regardless of these efforts there are supermarkets
– Education is needed
– Compare supermarkets and farm shops
– Ask people for help
How much do you pay for your meat? How much do you pay for your milk? How much do you pay for your vegetables?
In this current economic climate, a lot of you would happily buy cheaper food to allow you to buy any utility that would distract you from your money problems. But its not necessarily a conscious decision, it just happens because the food is available at your convenience.
Because supermarkets have these cheap alternatives at our doorstops, the public has given the local retailers the cold shoulder. Supermarkets dictate our spending. They reduce choice with smaller shops finding it harder to compete against these conglomerate businesses.
Between 1995-2000 we lost roughly one fifth of our local shops and services, therefore society lost employment, services and products that otherwise made it easier for the economy. Even though its easier for consumers with the prices being cheaper, the money isn’t benefiting the economy because the producers (farmers) aren’t getting a fair share, so they can’t input into the economy. With local shops closing down and farmers getting less for there efforts, a considerable amount of the population aren’t stimulating economic growth because there is less spending, influencing the recession in 2005.
Tony Blair told farmers that “the supermarkets have pretty much got an arm- lock on you people at the moment”, promising that it was “something we have got to sit down with them and work out”; but yet nothing was done
There have been issues with the state of agriculture in past years that had to be addressed by the propaganda photography of the FSA in 1935 with photographs by Walker Evans. Also with the birth of Granges in 1870’s to commercialise farming and the Farmers Alliance in 1877 to buy more in bulk with other farmers to improve their profits.
Recently Farmers are some what exploited in the media, with companies linking a happy farmer to their adverts, as a sign of reliable, earthly quality, but in fact, these business’ offer their producers a lot less and price out other honest living farmers who aren’t like the strong accented and tweed wearing yokel’s portrayed in their adverts.
A lot of stereotypes are going around about farmers, saying they have a stiff upper lip, and they don’t have any business sense. But the more realistic views of farms are that ‘Not only are the farmers I know brilliant, but they’re also savvy business men and women. People who are proud of their products and love to tell you about their systems’ because ‘To farm you have to know soil science, microbiology, ecology, chemistry, business, social science, the list goes on and on.’
Gavin on what farmers do
Stephen, James and Yoshi’s opinions
Some farmers have adapted well to the changing needs of the consumer. There has been a recent rise in the amount of Urban Farms; which are farms found in cities that bring the community together to promote healthy living in cities and improve the distribution of the food. Biospheric are a urban farm company in Manchester who create a new, appealing alternative through their farm to transform agriculture and put healthy food back on the menu.
This shows that Farmers do a lot but don’t get much recognition from their achievements. A lot of farms have diversified their trade into farm shops and cafes to appeal to a larger market and a lot of more traditional farms now using expensive technology to make their production a lot more efficient, with companies like Fullwood offering these services. Making cow lactations a lot easier by measuring the amount of milk a cow produces on average with herd management software. Farms that have diversified offer excellent quality food to customers in a warm and inviting environment. Its an efficient business strategy with little waste production; meaning if meat isn’t sold to bulk buying clients, it can be sold in the shop, if its not selling, it could be offered as a special in the café. Its incredibly intelligent business management, with retained quality assurance. But yet it goes unnoticed. the sole purpose is not to just sell stock…
Show, Carol, Jenny and Bridget talking about education
I’ve really come to appreciate the amount of effort farmers put in; if supermarkets put down their prices to get more people to buy their food, they really need to look at the people their effecting. People that are working incredibly hard to educate the populations of tomorrow, not just to make a living, and ultimately, education is the key to make people realise this paradigm shift of a reduction in food quality. Everyone used to go to the butchers to buy top quality meat because they cared, and because they didn’t know any better. Now the younger populations are feed advertising campaigns to suggest that supermarkets and fast food restaurants are the new best option, and with the recession, many people have accepted this reduction in quality, and forgotten about the real hard workers; farmers. Because these businesses have a voice in the digital age of advertising, they have the step over farmers. So farmers need to be given a voice to speak the quality alternative.
In a digital age, public relations is everything, supermarkets don’t want people taking photographs of the store because they are conscious of the authenticity of their food and prices. Farms on the other hand are proud of the quality and authenticity of all their stock, so they want people to present what’s there, and they are not afraid of anything.
(Show farmers being proud of working) Farmers are proud of their work and are passionate to work for quality and education
Does everyone in supermarkets like their job? I know for a fact that some people who work in supermarkets aren’t passionate about the stock, or passionate about the job, they care about the money they get at the end of the day, just like the owners of where they work. This surely shows the mess that business has got itself into and the distance between supermarkets owners and there staff. ‘Money is round, its meant to go around’, not just go in to the supermarkets.
With the horse meat scandal that occurred, its made people think about where their food is coming from. This has made people distrust the large supermarkets. The horse meat scandal exposed that supermarkets do not trace where there food is coming from. Therefore, local farmers and retailers need to educate people in meat quality; with the effects bad meat would have on their health. Regardless of this, consumers are priced out of a return or introduction to good quality meat from farms and local retailers because of the economic climate. But maybe if they were educated a bit more about the positives of sourcing their food locally, then it will create a shift in spending. The way to live well is to eat well and exercise well and that’s the only way our bodies will keep at older ages, so the spending on food should really take a bigger priority in our spending.
Britain used to be a keen producer of many different things, but with supermarkets and large international business’ coming in, we’ve lost that status in the media. We still have people to produce this quality produce, but unless their stories are told, there is little that can be done.