Have your say – w/e 26 September, 2001

9 October 2001

Have your say – w/e 26 September, 2001

Bread price rise – wheres the money going?

YOU report that the price of a loaf of bread will rise by 20p shortly (Poor harvest means bread price rise, FWi, 24 September, 2001).

This, according to the millers, is because of the poor harvest, which has made the milling wheat price rise by 20/t.

Really this is just a convenient excuse and has nothing to do with the price of wheat.

In 1992, we had 150/t for Mercia wheat; in 1996 we had 106 for Hereward wheat.

By 2000 we were receiving 73-85/t for our milling wheat.

DId the price of a loaf of bread come down over those
years? Of course not. It actually went up.

The reason the price of a loaf did not fall was, we were told, because the cost of the wheat was an insignificant part of the cost, and that even if we gave the wheat to the miller, the loaf would not be cheaper.

Now, with milling wheat going up a little, they are going to raise the price of a loaf. This is a straightforward rip-off.

I hope there will be some publicity on this one.

PT Hughes

Prejudice against our produce at home and abroad

A FRIEND has just returned to the UK from a cruise in Arctic waters, fellow travellers being mainly Americans.

They were greeted by. “Gee, how you must love being able to eat meat at last”.

When they tried to explain that they hadnt stopped eating meat, the Americans simply didnt believe it.

Sadly it is not only the American gulf we have to overcome.

We have to overcome vast amounts of prejudice in our own market place.

As farmers we are very good at looking at our own immediate problems. Our biggest
one we miss out on.

Undoubtedly the press were going to home in on the
subsidy culture.

Undoubtedly our consumers in the UK are going to be envious of the amounts of money talked about, for very, very few (I would suggest fewer than 0.0001%) will realise that this compensation package involves far more than merely the earlier death of an animal that would be killed anyway.

Certainly the knock-on effects of movements, cereal consumption, /machinery sales, manufacturing, jobs and infrastructure are little comprehended by those outside the industry.

It is our fault. To date, I know of only one farming organisation that has since its inception been oriented to the consumer.

Isnt it about time we all put our hearts and minds behind winning the real war of keeping a British agricultural industry?


Dangers of EU expansion

After reading your news item, Recognise farmers role – Whitty, (FWi, 25 September, 2001), I was pleased to read that Ben Gill, our president, has finally realised the possible horrendous consequences of the EUs eastward expansion.

It will mean the inclusion of the huge additional numbers of farmers from the former Soviet Empire, whose extra financial needs will no doubt bring about the final demise of the EU and the complete collapse of the agricultural Industry in Western Europe.

Perhaps now the NFU will reconsider its wholehearted support for this anti-British monstrosity and recommend to the Labour Government that we declare unilateral independence.

We must resume our former role as a free and independent nation, ruled only by the elected members of the House of Commons, under the sovereignity of our own dear Queen.

Dick Lindley, Normanton, Wakefield, W Yorkshire

Safety of food from near pyres

THE Food Standards Agency (FSA) has now said that food produced in the vicinity of foot-and-mouth pyres is safe to eat (All-clear for virus-pyre milk, FWi, 20 September, 2001).

They have decided after tests that this is the case and that any harmful products are within normal

What a load of old bull!

Back in April they said food, particularly milk, was unsafe from these areas and should be avoided.

This was without any tests and was therefore just a whim.

Why did they say this?

The answer is that such whims, which effect peoples livelihoods, are made to try and justify the existance of the FSA.

The FSA was a knee-jerk reaction to the BSE fiasco. Unfortunately, its introduction was backed by the NFU, and we are lumbered with it.

This means jobs for the boys, who must create food scares, or be out of a job.

PT Hughes

Combine advice needed

OPINIONS sought on the Class Mega 208 – I have a mate considering buying one.


Defra – is there anybody there?

CAN someone tell me why Defra do not answer e-mails, faxes or pass on enquires when you telephone them?

My main grouse was regarding the foot-and-mouth August Update 2001 (PB5808) wherupon the London Region on page 18 and 25 is ignored.

No amount of prompting to Defra has solicited a reply.

The latest document from Defra titled The South and London Regions (PB5894) mentions the government offices for the two regions, but says on the front page no one at the moment is appointed for the London Region to take on responsibilities for any rural or farming issues.

There are 30000 acres farmed in the London region. Why has Defra allowed this situation to develop?

Charles George, Orpington, Kent

Human cost of foot-and-mouth

I AM a degree student carrying out a study into the human effects of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

If any farmers would be willing to be interviewed, whether their farms

have had an outbreak or not, could you please contact me.

I am ideally looking for farmers in the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire area. I already have some participants but would be very grateful for more.

Catherine White

Beef from Zimbabwe

WHY are Aldi stores selling frozen beef from Zimbabwe?

According to a student from that country who has been working with my husband the, countrys beef is riddled with foot-and-mouth.

I am writing the Aldi to ask them if they are aware of this situation.

Sarah Giles

Tesco survey

CAN anybody out there tell me why Tesco is currently running their own customer survey on the farming industry?

The questions have a heavy bias against farmers and a heavy bias towards organics.

Has the NFU had any input at all?

Does it even know about this supermarket scam to discredit farmers even more than the Government is already doing?


Chickens from China

I READ an article in the Sunday Express on 9 September which said EU officials have given the go-ahead for China to export chicken meat to the UK.

The processing factories have been deemed a health hazard and the chickens with possible disease and chemical and drug residues – including the flu bug that killed six people in Hong Kong in 1997 – have been given a licence to send this meat to the UK.

Its time to stop this meat now before it leaves China, not once its here and in the food chain, further undermining confidence in UK food producers.


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