British Berry Growers has warned that its members will cut back production if they don’t see improved margins and a reduction in the price gap between growers and retailers.
The industry association warned that retailers ‘seem to be looking after themselves’ and called on them to pay a ‘fair and reasonable price’ to compensate for rising costs.
British Berry Growers chairman Nick Marston, said, “More and more, we see talk from retailers about their support for British farmers, but at a time when British growers need it most, the talk is not being reflected in reality. Retailers seem to be looking after themselves at the expense of British growers.
“If we don’t address this disconnect, British berry growers will start to reduce the numbers of berries they grow, as they are unable to make a profit. That’s why British Berry Growers is calling for retailers to pay a fair and sustainable price for British berries, so that we can all continue to enjoy home-grown berries in years to come.”
His comments come as retail food inflation hovers are 13%. Yet while grower’s costs have increased by 26% over the last two years, berry growers say they have seen now price increases over that period. As a result, the £1.6 billion UK berry industry faces greater instability, and potential a large fall in production.