‘Family farms are the backbone of Britain’, delegates were told at an open meeting of the Family Farmers’ Association.
Industry leaders gathered with MPs at the Houses of Parliament last week to discuss issues facing smaller family farms and why they are so important to Britain’s economy, the Farmers Guardian reported.
The former president of the Woman’s Food and Farming Union said family farms were often a forgotten species. But it should be noted that farming is a thriving bright spot in the British economy and it is important that politicians realise that agriculture in not just about skylark numbers.
Family farms do not just produce food, they have maintained the landscape and nurtured unique communities and the rural way of life for thousands of years.
The UK has around 300,000 active farms with an average size of 140 acres, the average size of European farms is 50 acres. 86 per cent of the UK area is farmed by family farms which demonstrates just how very important they are.
It seems that British chickens, pigs and sheep are about to have their own issues by having to compete with foreign immigrants. Due to new directives coming from Brussels, a chicken will qualify as being British after just 28 days in this country, a sheep as little as four months and a pig six months. One has to wonder if they will then receive British passports, perhaps they could even attend ‘citizenship’ ceremonies!
Such occasions could become quite a tourist attraction with livestock lined up across farmyards and Lord Lieutenants in all their finery welcoming these foreign immigrants and asking them to stand to attention while the National Anthem is played.
It seems that Brussels by designing this latest intervention rides rough shod over the British Red Tractor emblem. This was developed to reassure the British public that the food which carries this symbol has been produced and raised in Britain to the standards we expect which include animal welfare.
This latest interference has been designed to accommodate the continental trade in animals and chickens which are born and raised on one farm and then moved and fattened on another, often across the border in another country.
Naturally British farmers are now concerned that the new rules will result in imports of cheap chicken from Poland and other Eastern Bloc countries. they will only have to live in the UK for a month before being labelled as British.
Peter Kendal the president of the National Farmers Union said, “If there is one message that came from the horsemeat scandal, it’s that consumers want to know where their food comes from. It is critical that food supply chains have a good level of transparency and traceability. Anything sold as British must have been born, reared and slaughtered in Britain”.
It was depressing to see that the Privy Council last week approve state press control by Royal Charter. This was a dark day for British politics. Those politicians who justify this as creating a tool to protect the public must think the rest of us were born yesterday. What they are doing is dangerous and can easily be changed and abused by future governments. Far from requiring a two thirds majority to make further changes which could gag the press, this could happen with a majority of just one. Politicians who make up the rules are fully able to change them at a later date, all too easily. There are already powers in place to protect National security.
David Cameron should concentrate on matters which will help the country get back on its feet by encouraging business development and investment, thus increasing employment. He should reduce taxes and stop Brussels imposing unwanted and unnecessary regulations upon us. He should not be gagging the British press which holds the Establishment to account. One has to wonder just what he is so afraid that they will find out about.
Carola Godman Irvine