This research was carried out online by Opinion Matters, from 20th July 2023 – 26th July 2023. Responses came from a panel of 100
horticultural (fruit and veg) farmers, aged 18+, who are currently trading with supermarkets or have traded with supermarkets in the
last five years.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
“I consider my farm to be at financial risk.”
Over half (53%) of those surveyed consider their farm to be at financial risk.
“I expect my farm to go out of business within the next generation.”
61% expect their farm to go out of business within the next generation.
“Making a living through farming has never been harder.”
A huge 67% agree that making a living through farming has never been harder.
“Farming sits at the bottom of the government's list of priorities.”
Over half (54%) believe that farming sits on the bottom of the government’s priorities.
“I am worried about the future of my farm.”
58% are worried about the future of their farm.
How likely, if at all, is it that you will have to give up your farm in the next…?
Almost half (49%) believe they will have to give up their farm in the next 12 months.
52% feel they are going to have to give up their farm in the next 18-24 months.
65% of those surveyed who own a 5-20 hectare farm feel they are going to have to give up their farm in the next 18-24 months.
How optimistic or pessimistic are you about improving your farm's financial situation over the next 12 months?
71% of farmers surveyed are optimistic about their farm’s financial situation over the next 12 months.
78% of female farmers surveyed are optimistic, with 69% of male farmers optimistic about their farm’s financial situation improving over
the next 12 months.
What, if anything, are your biggest concerns for the farming industry? (Tick up to five)
The top three biggest concerns for the farming industry were:
Crops failing due to weather extremes
Risks in future government support
Supermarkets or supermarket buyers' specifications getting too hard
For context, horticultural farmers are more concerned with supermarket behaviour than rising input costs (22%) or even seasonal,
non-seasonal workers shortages (22%) and a loss of direct subsidies (19%).
What percentage of your income is dependent on a supermarket (or their buyers) purchasing from you?
said that 61-70% of their income was dependent on a supermarket, or their buyers, purchasing from them.
said that 31-40% of their income was dependent on a supermarket, or their buyers, purchasing from them.
When it comes to trading with supermarket supply chains, which of the following do you agree with? (Tick all that apply)
agree that supermarkets are focusing too much on reducing waste, water use, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, rather than supporting
local food and farming.
agree that they have received payment outside of 30 days from supermarkets.
A further 29% agree that they have received a cancelled order from supermarkets with no explanation.
agree that supermarkets are at the root of the problems that farmers are currently facing
One in four farmers (23%) say they have suffered a loss of crop due to cancelled orders from supermarkets.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
“Tougher regulations are required to redress the imbalance of power between farmers, processors and the supermarkets.”
A huge 69% agree that tougher regulations are required to redress the imbalance of power between farmers, processors and the supermarkets.
How much of an impact would it have on your business if the supermarkets or supermarket buyers you dealt with adopted the following
agree that it would have a positive impact if buyers paid the amount that they initially agreed to pay (e.g. did not then try and slash
prices after initial agreement)
agree that it would have a positive impact if buyers bought everything they committed to buy (e.g. X amount of meat/X amount of
How many generations of your family have worked as farmers?
15% had one generation of their family working as farmers.
34% had two generations of their family working as farmers.
31% had three generations
14% had four generations
7% had five or more generations of their family working as farmers
Do you feel future generations in your family can make a living from farming?
feel that future generations in their family can make a living from farming
do not feel that future generations in their family can make a living from farming