With M Local and Lidl both planning on joining the High Street shortly, the number of supermarkets in Maldon is growing fast.

Is the increase in convenience stores having a disastrous impact on local farmers?

Maldon's current supermarkets will soon be joined by M Local, on the High Street, and potentially Lidl, making a grand total of more than six major food stores.

Farmer Fergus Howie, 39, of Witham Road, hopes that more stores will force supermarkets to look at new ways of winning customers and they will turn to stocking local brands.

He said: “It’s the middle-of-the-ground supermarkets that are the worst at this, they slash prices and want to sell premium products.

“They endanger British farming because they take a huge volume of premium produce and try to sell it at budget prices."

* Full feature in tomorrow's Standard.