Foot and mouth puts Taking Stock in the media glare

Never let it be said that we here at Taking Stock are without a touch of glamour.

Last Friday’s foot and mouth outbreak has resulted in a barage of requests for media interviews from Farmers Weekly. For my sins, I’ve been handling most of these, including BBC News 24, Sky News and the Today Programme.

And while this may sound like the life of a media starlet, rest assured it’s far from it. Monday saw me run half a mile across White City in London to reach the News 24 studios in time for an interview, thanks to the woeful sense of direction of my less than local driver! And all for less than three minutes of airtime.Meanwhile, Wednesday evening saw me sat in an empty radio studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, for a live link up with Radio Five Live. Trust me lurking around empty, strange buildings at 11 O’Clock at night isn’t my usual night time activity.

It was, however, worth it for the chance to put Times columnist Stephen Pollard straight on a few things. Particularly his suggestion that farmers shouldn’t be compensated for F&M despite it being in no way their fault.

However, the one thing I hope all of this has achieved is to give a fuller representation of the problems this latest F&M outbreak has caused farmers and, hopefully, reinforce the message that British produce is second to none and now more than ever is the safest food you can eat.

After a round robin of 11 interviews with regional BBC radio stations this morning, it’s fair to say I’m reaching the point of media exhaustion – much more and I fear the world will never want to hear my name again.

So, for now its back to the day job of keeping UK farming up to date with the latest news and views from the F&M outbreak.