3 July 2000
‘Think local to survive the crisis’

DEMAND for natural and local produce is helping some farmers battle their way out of the farming crisis, claims The Express.

Local food initiatives, such as organic box schemes and farmers markets, are worth twice as much as cereal production to the rural economy, reports the paper.

It quotes unsourced figures which show that such schemes were worth nearly 5 billion in 1999, compared with 2.3bn from cereal production.

Kaley Hart, from the Council for the Protection of Rural England told the paper: “Local food markets are no longer a niche market.”

She added: “Successful farming enterprises of the future will need to be about more than just producing crops and livestock.

“They will also need to get income from managing the countryside for its beauty and diversity and adding value to their products.”

The National Farmers Union said that not all the money quoted for speciality foods goes back into the countryside. A lot of it goes back into towns.

  • The Express, page 17