Senior executives from five of the biggest retailers will be scrutinised over their role in the food supply chain and their relationship with farmers.

The parliamentary session on Tuesday, April 30, will also be an opportunity for MPs to examine the impact of food price inflation on suppliers and consumers.

As part of their ongoing inquiry into fairness in the food supply chain, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has already taken evidence from farmers.

READ MORE | Farming Unions urge major retailers to back British Farming

In this fourth evidence session, MPs’ focus will be on the relationship between food production costs, food prices and retail prices, and how structural relationships between farmers, manufacturers, and retailers could be improved.

Ahead of the session, Dr Neil Hudson, who is a member of the EFRA Committee, said food security was part of the UK's national security.

"It is so important that our brilliant farmers and producers are fairly rewarded for keeping our nation food secure and supplying food for our tables," he added.

“Our inquiry continues this week where we will probe the major supermarkets about food inflation, fair pricing for customers and fair reward for their supplying farmers and growers.

READ MORE | Aldi tops league of retailers for supporting Scottish produce

“It is so important that there is fairness in the food supply chain and our committee will focus on holding these major retailers to account on this.”

Witnesses, who will include executives from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose and Lidl, will be questioned on the nature of retailers’ profits in the context of the high food price environment and how they ensure that profits are distributed throughout their supply chains.

They will be scrutinised about the extent to which the position of consumers is considered when setting prices.

It comes after farming unions recently wrote to the UK's biggest retailers urging more support for British farmers in response to challenging and disruptive weather this spring.

The letter, by the NFU, NFU Scotland, Ulster Farmers' Union and NFU Cymru, called on supermarkets for commitment to support the industry during this 'difficult time'.