Farmer burns flag in food protest

29 October 2001

Farmer burns flag in food protest

By FWi staff

A BRITISH farmer burned an American flag in protest at global food policies which, he claims, are driving small producers out of business.

Hector Christie, a pig farmer from North Devon, burned the flag during a protest before 50 protestors in Gloucestershire on Saturday (27 October).

Mr Christie from Tapely Farm, near Bideford, said: “Small farmers are being crushed beneath globally-centred economics and loaded legislation.”

Low prices had forced to kill 11 piglets. Even giving away the animals would have cost him 150 in vet bills and 55 in transport costs.

Mr Christie said he burned the American flag in response to World Trade Organisation rules which were hurting small farmers.

“We are currently killing thousands of animals per day because we cant move or sell them while exports roll in by the lorry load,” he said.

“We incinerate or bury our healthy animals while Afghans starve.”

The Marquess of Worcester, formerly TV actress Tracey Ward, also warned that global food policies were killing Britains small farmers

She was cheered as she spoke from the bandstand in Gloucester Park, Gloucester, before marching on the citys Shire Hall.

Farmers are being strangled by supermarkets who buy food from abroad rather than using healthy produce grown on their doorstep, she said.

The 42-year-old marquess, who lives on the Badminton Estate, now works as an ecologist supporting local farmers.

Among the marchers were Cornish farmer Simon Burbage and Gloucestershire farmer Sue Osbourne.

Mr Burbage said: “Quite why we need to go to Afghanistan to fight terrorism I dont know. We have a terrorist called Tony Blair in Whitehall.

“He has shown a total disregard for every rural issue.”

Mrs Osbourne said: “Foot-and-mouth has been swept under the carpet so Tony Blair can get on with his war.”

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