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Food Producers Are Casualties Of Price War Among U.K. Supermarket Giants

June 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
It seems like good news for British consumers that sales at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda – the big four supermarket chains that control 74 percent of retail grocery – are down significantly. Their answer has been to cut prices, and that eases the strain on U.K. shoppers. But what’s good news for shoppers is bad news for producers: the price war is damaging Britain’s food self-sufficiency. A government department released data showing that for the third year in a row, self-sufficiency was down, from 78 percent in 1984 to 60 percent now. The retail giants are negotiating such brutal price deals with producers that many have simply stopped producing.  The result? British wheat production has dropped 25 percent. And the national sheep flock has declined 33 percent.
Jay Rayner, "Why a supermarket price war is bad news for Britain's ability to feed itself", The Guardian, June 08, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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