30 November 2001

Communication must improve

THE need for farmers to talk more freely with other producers in the UK and abroad is one of the most important lessons to be learned from foot-and-mouth, a conference on the disease was told.

Farmers must improve their channels of communication, deleg-ates were told at the Farmers World network conference at Stoneleigh.

Farmers agreed there was a lack of reliable information on the disease from credible sources during the peak of the F&M crisis.

Local radio stations had done a lot to help keep farmers involved and bring them closer together. But producers felt if they could have talked to other farmers who have experienced the disease during its last outbreak in the UK or to farmers overseas, then some of the feeling of ignorance and frustration could have been avoided.

A spokesman for the organisation said: "We have global markets and global agricultural diseases, but as yet there is little global dialogue among the global farming community. This must change." &#42