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British Produce - are you prepared to support our farmers?

In my August NFU magazine there was an interesting article about British produce.

Research from Barclays has revealed that two thirds of the 2,000 consumers questioned would buy more British Produce to support UK farmers.

Shoppers would be ready to pay a 17% premium on average for UK food over imported equivalents. Consumers are naturally cost-conscious – choice can be influenced by value and convenience, so farmers need to consider their local population and if they are willing to buy from the farm gate, or in local shops. The research asked UK consumers what would most make them buy more UK produce – unsurprisingly cheaper prices came top of the consumer’s poll but only 39% of farmers questioned identified price as an influence on consumer pricing decisions.

Key highlights of the research:

• 40% of British adults shop for value over origin

• 31% make decisions based on convenience

• 46% of 18-24 years olds make purchasing decisions based on price

• Only 24% check the label to see where the food originates

• 79% of those questioned said that “better taste or flavour” would make them buy more British produce

• Animal welfare considerations (69%) and confidence in food safety ( 67%) are drivers in purchasing British food

• 60% said that clearly labelled packaging would help them purchase more UK produce

The marketing mix is clearly evident – product, place, promotion, price to which you can add channels of distribution and packaging. The opportunity is there for premium pricing, justified by a superior local/UK product with local appeal. You only have to see the success in and around Cornwall and Devon of places like the Lifton Farm shop, St Kew Harvest bakery with Jeremy and Antonine.

In the news we can see the impact of pricing milk in supermarkets- farmers are being driven out of business. The British public need to get behind the UK dairy industry and back the outlets that pay a far price for milk. It would be "udderly ridiculous" to loose ourNFY  dairy industry.