Time is running out for a fair food system. The time has come to put small producers in the primary sector first.
Small local producers continue to demonstrate their resilience in an increasingly critical situation. Not only are they bearing the cost increases without passing them on to their products, but they are paying less and less for them. In the meantime, they are astonished to see a rise in final prices from which the intermediaries benefit. The time has come to shout #SOS Farmers.
Direct trade with the farmer at a fair price
The European Union has set itself the target of achieving sustainable food production by 2030. To this end, it has launched the “Farm to Fork“ strategy supported by EU Directive 2019/633, which should have already entered into force in most member states.
On the one hand, farmers are asked to go organic, to avoid the use of pesticides and to reduce nutrient losses without deteriorating soil fertility (objectives that can be achieved through regenerative agriculture).
Furthermore, the European Economic and Social Committee insists on recommending that the weakest operators in the food chain, especially farmers, obtain a fair and equitable price that allows them to earn sufficient income to invest in developing sustainable production.
The EU’s objective is clear: to support the transformation of European food systems to become more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, resilient, fair and inclusive. And, above all, to provide European consumers with safe food that is healthy and sustainably produced.
Measures against dumping in Germany
And there are countries that have not only taken it literally, but have gone beyond the European recommendations. For example, for Germany, the profitability of the farmer is a state issue.
In addition to the minimum list of prohibitions in the EU regulation, the German law contains three further prohibitions: traders may not return unsold goods without payment; storage costs of the buyer may no longer be passed on to the supplier; listing fees will no longer be allowed in the future if a product is already listed with the retailer.
Four major retailers control 85% of the German food market. Already in 2020, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave them a wake-up call for unfair trade practices. It wanted to ensure that it eliminated dumping and supported fair relations between intermediaries and producers.
Spain has been one of the last countries to comply with the Directive and support small producers. However, at Farmers’ Farm they have always been our priority. Many farmers and artisans have stepped forward to close the gap created by middleman sales.The fact that they are not only receiving an iniquitous profit, but also the devaluation of their product (which is no more and no less than the fruit of their labour and their life).
Therefore, behind the price of a Farmers Farm product there is a story of effort, courage, commitment, sustainability and fair trade.