Lyn Jenkins, from Cardigan wrote, “I see that Swansea West Labour MP Geraint Davies has sent out a tweet welcoming the drop in global beef production because, “falling beef consumption brings hope amid the crisis for climate change as 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock”.
What a cheap shot for an MP to make at the expense of hard-working Welsh farmers who have hardly had a day off while they have been feeding the nation.
Mr Davies normally makes his living by sitting on the green leather seats of the House of Commons. So will he now stand by his principles and refuse to take his generous MP’s salary, because those green leather seats are the product of supposedly global warming inducing cattle?
I wager that far more greenhouse gasses have been produced in hot air emanating from that leather in the House of Commons than was ever produced when it was on the backs of cattle”.
It is evident that Mr Davies and his environmentalist campaigning friends, fail to notice that despite sheep and cattle numbers having not reduced during lockdown, the drop in CO2 emissions and improvements in air quality due to the significant drop in road traffic was dramatic.
Ruminant livestock have been an easy target in the past but perhaps Corvid 19 has thrown Mr Davies and his friends a proverbial googly. By all means cut emissions by reducing polluting road and air traffic, the prime source of CO2, but back off attacking farm livestock which for centuries have fed the nation, and bring valuable income from overseas through export.
Carlo Caiani is the director of a UK-based investment fund, seeking to invest in selected UK farms and related businesses. Mr Caiani wrote a column in the Farmers Weekly, under the heading, ‘Time to scrap subsidies and let the fittest survive’. His theme: that due to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, we are now much wiser regarding the fragility of our food supply chain. He apparently has the solution as to how to reintroduce food sustainability.
The essence of his article was that since joining the EEC in 1970 and subsequently the EU, as a nation we have become lazy and inefficient regarding food production. He believes Brexit will encourage us to become smarter and have an opportunity to grow the agriculture footprint, ensuring sustainable good-quality products.
He said that once farmers cease to receive ‘fat annual cheques’ through the ‘flawed’ CAP, many UK small farms will be forced out of business and their farms sold to large high-performing farmers, reducing the number of farm holdings by one-third.
He believes that, ‘the larger farms are able to achieve far lower costs through economies of scale, more advanced equipment and better management. Thus delivering higher output, better quality and less waste, making the industry more profitable on a sustainable basis.’
What he fails to understand is that smaller farms are innovative and produce some of the top quality produce, with the highest standards of animal welfare. Many do not need or rely on CAP payments, unlike most large farms. Some of which are thousands of acres, belonging to household names who have repeatedly stated they cannot survive without the hundreds of thousands of pounds of CAP payments they receive each year. So which are the most successful and efficient? I think Mr Caiani would do well to review his flawed advice.
As an investment fund manager he clearly has little understanding of farming, British agriculture and sustainable food production. His plan to force smaller farmers into the arms of corporate land investors such as himself, would be a disaster and ruinous to this country, the countryside and consumers.