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Rip off food industry will continue until consumers reconnect with producers?

I noticed fresh onions in the supermarket yesterday priced at the equivalent of £2,000/ton, yet my cousin only got £130/ton for his crop of onions. This is fantastic example of how the modern food industry favours the middle men and retailers, not the farmer, or, in these austere times, consumer.

In the case above; are consumers and farmers being ripped off? Are english onions not in season yet, (or do not store until July)? Or is there a world shortage? If I, as a farmer, don’t know, what chance does the average consumer have?

The modern, national, food industry, does not want us to know. They simply provide us with all kinds of foods all the time, via imports and slick supply chains then charge us as much as possible. Some might ask what am I complaining about? I could still buy fresh onions and the price was clearly labelled.

The BigBarn local food map

The BigBarn local food map

My problem is that the national food industry is paying UK farmers very little and consumers are paying too much. We are offered a massive selection and one stop shop, but completely separated from where our food comes from, what is in season, and good value. And with continual marketing telling us we are too busy to cook, more consumers are buying fast food and ready meals and have no interest in cooking healthy seasonal vegetables.

Once I had priced the supermarket produce I dropped in to my local grower and bought a bag of beetroot, spinach, broad beans and lettuce for £1.80

So, to save money, eat well and be healthy, use the BigBarn map to reconnect with your local food producers, ask questions to get ‘the knowledge’ and celebrate the season’s bounty.


  1. Ricardo says:

    Wow. I wonder whether there is another product for sale in UK with a margin of 1538% Does anybody know of one? The fact that an onion is not a scarce product, it is grown right here in UK for large parts of the year makes me ask how crazy food price rip offs have to get before the Office For Fair Trading step in? I have noticed recently that a few of the supermarkets have stopped providing a weight on a pack of fresh vegetables meaning that analyses like this are less easy to calculate. Oh, the cost of convenience eh?

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