In his speech made at the NFU conference on February 26 he described the dairy market as "an enormous cause for worry," and added that "today's prices are not sustainable, and that also emphatically goes for the beef and sheep sectors as well."
NFU figures show that on average farmers receive around 17 pence per litre for their milk, where their costs of production are around 21 pence per litre.
Kendall made a plea for the big supermarkets to realise that farming was not manufacturing, and that supply and demand economics did not paint an accurate picture:
"We are not manufacturing nuts and bolts: production cannot be turned on and off at the touch of a switch. We need to work together on the environmental challenges ahead," he said.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist February 2007