FT letter slates NFU organic stance

5 November 2001

FT letter slates NFU organic stance

By FWi staff

A LETTER published in the Financial Times has criticised demands that more money should be given to help conventional farmers go organic.

Mr Michael Bright slates the National Farmers Unions response to forecasts by Tesco that the organic food market is set to boom.

Tesco has projected that its organic foods market will grow to 1bn within five years, and has challenged British agriculture to achieve this, he writes.

The entirely predictable response of Ben Gill is to demand yet more taxpayers money to subsidise farmers to convert their farms, he adds.

If this is such a huge opportunity, it presumably offers a reasonable return on capital, in which case the investment could be raised as it is in other businesses.

Government intervention be limited to making the necessary introductions so that farmers can attract investors, Mr Bright continues.

This would ensure that the farmers receive a fair price, the supermarkets margins were reasonable and the consumer was not ripped off.

The present subsidy culture militates against all these beneficial effects and allows the middleman to play producer off against consumer.

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