News: August 2012

Date posted: 01/08/12


Credit where credit is due, so congratulations to Guy Opperman MP for his sterling efforts in standing up for our beleaguered dairy farmers. It cannot be right that some supermarkets are insisting on paying a price some 20% below the costs of production. There is no point in anybody claiming that dairy farmers should be more efficient to meet these prices. It is only the most efficient that are left. The dairy industry across the UK and in the North East in particular has contracted dramatically over the last two decades.

It is time that processors, retailers and also us consumers, recognise the importance of our domestic food producing industry. We must all be prepared to pay a price for staple food products that allow sustainable production. At an international policy level, food production is no longer a by-product of environmental land management, but has become a priority policy in its own right. The combination of population growth, increased prosperity in the developing world and “weather weirding” is highlighting the importance of food production across the globe. Just look at the drought in the USA, its effect on its maize crop and the knock on effect on global grain prices.

We really must appreciate the real value of our food and those who produce it, rather than paying prices that will drive them out of business. Our North East farmers may not be able to feed the world, but they should be allowed to do their bit.

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