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Farmers receive tiny profits for some everyday foods

Farmers in the UK are receiving only a tiny fraction of the supermarket price of five common foods - often receiving less than a penny of the purchase price - according to this report from UK NGO Sustain. Other stages of the supply chain - notably processors and retailers - often receive a much greater portion of the profit. The report also notes that growers could receive more profit by supplying through alternative supply chains, such as non-profit food hubs.

The five foods studied are:

  • Cheese: for a typical pack of cheddar costing £2.50, the dairy farmer has production costs of £1.48 but receives much less than a penny in profit (in addition to recouping their costs).
  • Beefburgers: for a pack costing £3.50, the beef farmer has costs of 90p and receives far less than a penny in profit.
  • Bread: for a loaf costing £1.14, the cereal farmer has growing costs of 9.03p and receives “almost negligible” profit, therefore relying on sales volumes to make money.
  • Apples: for 1kg of apples costing £2.20, the grower has costs of 76p and receives 3p in profit.
  • Carrots: for 1kg of carrots costing 54p, the grower has costs of 14p and receives “negligible” profit.

Read the full report, Unpicking food prices: Where does your food pound go, and why do farmers get so little?, here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food security?

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minute read

12 Dec 2022
Unpicking food prices
Document type
Fodder Category