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Taking on the supermarkets

On the subject of food, the protests by farmers over the price they are paid by supermarkets and processors have raised an age-old problem.

The dwindling prices for produce which they've been forced to put up with are hugely detrimental to the long-term future of many small farms, and indeed many large ones.

But it's only to be expected. When a large number of producers are individually feeding one large supplier it's easy to see who holds the power in the relationship. The only way the balance will shift is if if they join together to market their produce.

In the past the government facilitated such a scheme through the milk and potato marketing boards but now it's up to farmers to organise themselves into a powerful marketing body which can take on the might of the supermarkets.