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Unpicking food prices: Where does your food pound go, and why do farmers get so little?

UK farmers are often left with far less than 1p profit of the food they produce, our new report reveals.

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Sustain looked at five everyday food stuffs - apples, cheese, beefburgers, carrots and bread - and found that, after intermediaries and retailers take their cut, farmers are sometimes left with far less 1% of the profit.

The report “Unpicking food prices: Where does your food pound go and why do farmers get so little?” released 2 December 2022, examines in detail where the money spent on the five everyday food products goes and why that matters. We urgently need farmers to change farming systems to look after nature, tackle climate change and produce healthy food. This is a huge challenge especially if the market does not pay fair. In the report, the researcher details the typical costs and profits allocated to each part of the chain from farmer/grower, through intermediaries and processors to the retailers.

The main research was undertaken by Professor Lisa Jack of Portsmouth University (Professor of Accounting, Faculty of Business & Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance) with Harriet Hammans, Research Officer at City, University of London’s Food Research Collaboration. 

We make strong recommendations on investing in better routes to market, regulating supply chains, and building transparency.

Unpicking food prices: Where does your food pound go, and why do farmers get so little?
53pp - 2022 | 2236Kb

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Published 2 Dec 2022

Sustainable Farming Campaign: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.

53pp - 2022
2236Kb

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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