Stuart and Lily Beaton have shut Ainsty Farm Shop near York, which they have run for more than 20 years. The cost of energy has risen from £20,000 a year to £76,000.
Farm shops have a 24-hour requirement to keep some things warm, some things cold and others frozen. There is as Mr Beaton said, “Not much you can do to change that”.
Farms are not immune to soaring energy costs but like other businesses face increased electricity, diesel, feed, fertilizer, chemical and machinery costs. Livestock must be fed, and tractors topped up to enable farmers to till fields and plant next year’s harvest crops. Most grain stores run off electricity for cooling, drying, and milling grain.
As for livestock farming, dairy cattle do not milk themselves, nor do farmers milk by hand from a three-legged stool and bucket! Milking parlors, hot water for washing down, and bulk tanks which cool the milk, are powered by electricity.
The result of these inflated costs at production level, including transporting grain, milk, and livestock, ends up costing the customer significantly more when the produce hits the supermarket and farm shop.
So now it is suggested there will be milk shortages following Animal Rebellion’s vegan protesters blockading some of the UK’s biggest dairy processors at the weekend. Vegans who object to animal farming, trespassed Arla and Muller plants, near Aylesbury.
Protesters were clearly out and about at the weekend as a group from Extinction Rebellion accessed the chamber of the House of Commons where they superglued themselves to the Speaker’s chair.
It is shocking that security is so lax they were able to do so, but also disappointing they were not locked in glued to the spot until Monday morning. Hopefully, they were taken to the Tower of London.
Why these people think they should be demanding a Citizens Assembly, is quite beyond comprehension.
At last, some common sense amongst retailers who have, following the long hot summer, decided to encourage consumers to buy ‘wonky’ vegetables instead of allowing them to go to waste.
The obsession with perfection in fruit and vegetables is a nonsense and a waste of perfectly good food. Those demanding perfect looking produce have clearly never gone hungry or faced empty shelves.
With shortages of just about everything due to the lack of rain or irrigation, it is beginning to dawn on buyers that shoppers will happily buy fruit and veg which is not perfect.
Liz Truss has been elected to replace Boris as Prime Minister. She has big shoes to fill, and an even bigger personality to replace, plus a daunting task as the country expects miracles which she clearly cannot deliver. Anything short will bring out the critics who are already circling like vultures.
I wish her well and many congratulations. I hope her fellow MPs and the country give her time the backing she deserves.