CPRE sends a New Year’s message to supermarket chiefs: Make a resolution to support the countryside.
Supermarkets need to do more to encourage better management of our beautiful landscapes, support local food producers, and pay farmers a fair price for the food they produce – CPRE urges the ‘Big 7’ to make a New Year’s Resolution .
This year the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has published its Vision for the Future of Farming  and a landmark report on local food, calling for a step-change by our supermarkets to improve the deal for the countryside, local food producers and farmers. The three key steps CPRE would like to see them take are:
- sourcing, stocking, and promoting more foods that contribute towards managing our landscape and its wildlife ;
- supporting local food producers by stocking more local food ; and
- taking fully into account the cost of production when it comes to paying farmers for the food they produce.
Ian Woodhurst, Senior Farming Campaigner for CPRE, says:
'2012 has seen highs and lows for farming and the countryside. We’ve celebrated the 25thanniversary  of green farming schemes that help protect and maintain our wonderful countryside. But dairy farmers have faced a crisis as the price they were paid for milk fell below the cost of production, and the bad weather has made growing food a real challenge. In response, some supermarkets started selling imperfect, ‘knobbly’ but still nutritious, fruit and veg to help overcome supply issues ; a welcome and sensible step forward.
'Supermarkets have improved their environmental performance, particularly in terms of energy use . But there are other areas where CPRE believes they could do more, which is why our members are calling on them to make a New Year’s Resolution to give more support to the better management of our countryside, local food producers and farmers in 2013. A new year pledge from the big seven supermarkets can help make the future brighter for our countryside and for those who grow our food.'
Notes to Editors
 CPRE online action asking members and supporters to email the seven Chief Executives at www.cpre.org.uk
 CPRE Vision for the Future of Farming
 CPRE report on local food ‘From Field to Fork; The value of England’s local food webs’
 Examples of foods that are grown in ways that benefit the countryside and its wildlife include ‘Conservation Grade’ cereal crops, cider produced from apples grown in traditional orchards and beef and lamb grazed extensively on marshes and pastures that have not had fertilisers or other agri-chemicals applied to them. These foods contribute to maintaining landscape character and wildlife habitats.
 CPRE would like to see at least 10% of food sold in a supermarket supplied from within 30 miles.
The first agri-environment scheme was introduced in 1987. Today 68% of farmland in England is in a green farming scheme.
 NFU press release on supermarket concessions on selling misshapen vegetables
ENDS: UK Supermarkets 2009 carbon benchmark report - Executive Summary
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Sir Andrew Motion, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen. www.cpre.org.uk