As the nation prepares for its annual splurge on turkeys, ducks and chickens, the National Farmer Union is calling on the major retailers to pay a fair price for their poultry.
The soaring price of feed caused by an international shortage of wheat and other cereals has sent the costs of rearing birds soaring – but the big supermarket chains have not met those extra costs, says the NFU.
This price inflation also coincides with increased costs for rearing poultry in more humane conditions, improvements demanded by the supermarkets after pressure for more free-range birds demanded by TV chefs like Jamie Oliver.
The reluctance to offer better prices is putting at risk newly improved relationships between farmers and the supermarkets, says the union’s poultry board chairman Charles Bourns. Working out a fair price is “not rocket science” he says.