Daily Archives: March 2, 2009

Loss of Farmland

We import 40% of our food.  China is self sufficient in food

There has been flooding in areas of land in East Yorkshire.  A lot of  the land that has been flooded is  grade one prime agricultural land and is some of the most productive land in the country. 

The Environment Agency has said it is not prepared to improve the flood defences from tidal surges and increase in flood levels.  The Environment Agency says ‘If the value of the property in the area does not justify the spending of money on the defences, then the area will be abandoned to the sea”

It does not take  into account the value of the land and the ongoing value of the food this land will produce.

Surely the Environment Agency should spend a few million a year for the next few years to defend our land – which produces food.

We take food so much for granted here.

 What would the Dutch think to this way of thinking.

Supermarket Tactics

I do shop in supermarkets which includes Tesco.

But some people in the farming community are concerned at the power Tesco has.

Tesco’s turnover is £28bn.  This is more than half the total EU agricultural budget which is £52bm.

Tescos makes £55m profit a week. 

This shows Tesco can still make a profit and should be able to treat farmers fairly at the same time. 

There are stories of contracts being cancelled at short notice.  Farming is in an industry where growing a crop takes time and patience.  When a supermarket cancel the contract at short notice  the farmer will have bought the seed, spent time and money planting it and growing it, only to be told that the contract has been cancelled.    There are allegations of price cuts to the farmer as well.

Farmers will not want to lose this business at short notice and are not in a good price bargaining position.

I think many people think farmers are their own boss and have an idyllic life style, but there is a lot of stress as well.  Farmers have to make a profit (and why not every other business does) or else they would have to sell their farm and their home. 

I cannot believe that there would be stories of Tesco bullying suppliers if there was not some truth in it.  Why would farmers make this up.

Supermarkets are so powerful and individual farmers so powerless that individual farmers do not want to be named as they do not want to be delisted or get a bad name among supermarkets.