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Potatoes in retail
Farmers outraged as Sainsbury’s sells potatoes for 'less than the cost of production'
January 06, 2023
Farmers have been left outraged as Sainsbury’s, among other UK supermarkets, has discounted the price of potatoes in the run-up to Christmas.

At the Big 4 grocer, British white potatoes are on sale at GBP 19 (USD 22) for a 2.5kg pack, while Aldi and Lidl launched GBP 19 deals across a range of vegetables and Iceland rolled out its 1p sale across fresh and frozen vegetables.

As a result of the price drops, farmers and consumers on Twitter are fearing this will reduce the value of vegetables, while growers deal with added inflationary pressures, according to reporting by Farming Guardian.

Gary Harrison, Farmer:
"It’s disgusting what they do every lead up to Christmas, selling veg at less than the cost of production. How can farm shops/farms compete?"
A spokesperson for Sainsbury:
"To help customers this Christmas, we have set aside over £15 million to specifically ensure people will find even more amazing prices on festive favourites and traditional treats… Customers can be reassured they will not be paying more for their traditional roast dinner despite current levels of inflation."

"We have also been working closely with our suppliers and farmers to help them navigate inflationary pressures and to ensure we can maintain strong availability – providing financial support and working capital where really needed."
This comes as a new report by food and farming charity Sustain earlier this month found that UK farmers are often left with less than 1p on produce and see less than 1% of the profit.

Vicki Hird, Sustain head of farming:
" It is astonishing how little of the money we pay for our food ends up in the hands of the farmers and growers. If we’re to give our farmers the chance to change how we produce food, they need to keep more of the value, so they can invest and use new approaches. We should not let intermediaries and food buyers hold all the bargaining chips."
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