Farm incomes are falling, farmers' average age is now almost sixty and the number of small farms in Northern Ireland is in steady decline. Small farmers are threatened with extinction.
Many supermarkets promote fair trade products such as tea, coffee, sugar and bananas. Meanwhile, these same supermarkets are denying our farmers a fair price for their produce.
Friends of the Earth says
The time has come for fairly traded beef, milk, potatoes and apples.
Relocalising Northern Ireland's food economy would:
- Enable money spent on food to be retained for longer and recycled in the local economy - there is a high 'multiplier effect'.
- Cut the number of 'food miles' travelled, so helping to tackle climate change.
- Enhance our food security since much of our food, and the fuel needed to transport it, originates in countries threatened by war.
- Reduce our exposure to food price rises in the event that tax is imposed on aviation fuel.
- Enhance the tourist 'product'.
- Meet the demands of the growing restaurant trade.