Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:12 pm on 25th October 2018.

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Helen Browning:

The problem with the discount sector is not that it pays less to farmers, but that they are taking less margin themselves, and therefore the mainstream supermarkets feel they need to match those prices, and they squeeze harder. I actually think that a lot of the discount sector can be very helpful for farmers. Ocado and Amazon can work well for smaller-scale producers. As a producer myself, I sell a lot of stuff through Ocado, because it is very straightforward. They will list stuff very easily and they can have more SKUs. Therefore they can offer a much wider range of produce than your mainstream supermarket can, so there are opportunities there. The threat is in the competitive pressure that is exerted on those big four supermarkets, which are still where the majority of food is sold.