The Dairy Site says that fresh thinking on farm policy is ‘crucial’ for Britain now that climate change is getting all too real.
Interviewing National Farmers Union (NFU) President Peter Kendall, the Dairy Site points out that ‘extreme weather events such as Superstorm Sandy and the midwestern drought in the US, or the persistent flooding across much of England and Wales,’ are what climate change means. It’s not a simple matter of slightly warmer weather. I’ve heard so many people (including journalists) joke ‘so much for global warming!’ when we have a cold or wet day. But come on people, get real!
Also in the Dairy Site article, I see that we’re to get a Grocery Supply Code of Practice Adjudicator this year. I’m watching. Just now, it’s indigestible politics. Didn’t we just go through that stage with the European Union (EU) Common Fisheries Policy? When I see anything about farm policy that normal people can understand, I’ll let you know. What we can see now is that last year’s strife over milk prices has got a few powerful people to sit up. And it’s not only milk, it’s groceries in general.
Another point that strikes me in the Dairy Site article is Mr Kendall’s opinion that English farmers are discriminated against in the EU’s system of support payments. Again, this is dry politics. But no doubt if you’re a farmer or grower it doesn’t seem so dry. Especially not when your land is flooded.
Mr Kendall doesn’t claim to be impartial. Of course he doesn’t: it’s his job to speak for British farmers. But the food on your plate got there because somebody grew it. I think farmers are well worth listening to.
Here are Mr Kendall’s closing remarks (punctuation unchanged.) ‘Our industry is well-placed to help deliver jobs and growth in 2013 but for the longer-term we need fresh thinking that builds confidence and resilience for meeting one of society’s greatest challenges; feeding a growing population in a smarter, more sustainable way.’