Britain’s Farming Structure is Unique……
13th Jan 2017
…..and the systems traditional
Arable in the East and Grassland in the West
We grow cereal crops in the East and produce Livestock in the West
Animal feed and straw moves West
and Cattle for finishing and wintering move East
There is a North and South divide and a Lowland and Upland divide
And if you are wondering why ?
It’s all according to the weather in farming.
It is not so much about free range as animal husbandry.
Some sheep are bred for a cold climate others for a wet one.
Cattle don’t like it wet and cold outside and neither does the land under foot,
so when the field becomes soaked the cattle need to come inside.
Traditionally Britain was family farmed
so size was kept to what the family could manage.
That has changed because of the economics.
The cows don’t shit fast enough for the increasing cost of production.
Crude maybe, but succinct.
Smaller Farms and Smallholdings have almost disappeared
unless they are farmed as a hobby or starter farm
and have an income outside the land.
Family farms have shrunk and that has been painful for the family
and the bad for the food business.
Those who want local home grown.
Farming today is specialised and on an intensive scale by necessity
Markets are few and far between
Movement of food and Livestock is greater than ever
and the cost to road haul it incresing.
So what to do about British Agriculture and Brexit ?
Only British Policies for British Agriculture will achieve British food supplies
that meet the needs of the British consumer.
So I am advocating a reversal of fortunes.
We must create a Ministry for Food,
responsible for production to consumer
Home Grown, Exports and Imports
Because most food comes from farms and DEFRA has too wide a range
Farming is more than merely a “Rural Affair”
We as a nation must reduce our food imports,
The balance of payments deficit is unsustainable.
We must produce more Home Grown – under glass if necessary
And import less out of seasonal foods.
Create Rural homes and Smallholdings on a massive scale.
Not just more Urban sprawls
Give farmers planning permision to sell ? 10 acre plots with road access
I say 10 acre plots,
because some plots will need to be larger other can be smaller
depending on what the land will carry produce.
We need to get a greater number of people producing food locally
That includes protecting viable family farms
Support for food production comes in two parts
1. Less favoured land needs more support
2 . Marketing Boards need bringing back –
be it Milk, Potatoes or Cereals
Make the Consumers rights come first
Control of the product at the production stage- Salt & Sugar
Greater control of and regulation of those markets including supermarkets
Take modern slavery out of the system
Be it Family Farmer -Farm worker or Migrant Labourer
Give better police protection to people and their property
Faming is a 24 hour day 7 day a week job
The whole system needs better protection and less exploitation.
Reverse the Council Farm sell off – Create more starter farms