Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

BY JIM WEBSTER Apparently it was Machiavelli who said (almost certainly in Italian): “Never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis.” Churchill followed him by saying: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Obviously their wise advice is being followed. So, the government has unveiled a new food strategy ‘and told farmers to produce more fruit and vegetables in the wake of record … Continue reading Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

Too Little Wheat, Too Much Makeup

BY JIM WEBSTER During first lockdown, behind the scenes, major retailers performed logistical miracles. As a farmer I’m not somebody who is prone to praise them, but in spite of ridiculous levels of panic buying (there are people out there who won’t need to buy toilet paper for another couple of years) the retailers managed to keep the show on the road. During lockdown I … Continue reading Too Little Wheat, Too Much Makeup

Ukraine Effects: A Farmer’s Thoughts

BY JIM WEBSTER On the agricultural front, so far nothing has really been said in the West, although I’ve noticed a couple of the papers starting to run stories about possible food shortages. Apparently the Chinese government, which seems to think about these things rather more than our governments do, has stockpiled 70% of world maize stocks, 51% of world wheat stocks and “enormous quantities … Continue reading Ukraine Effects: A Farmer’s Thoughts

It IS WORKING, Keep up the Badger Cull

BY ROBIN CARPENTER The soon to be obsolete Wild Justice are requesting an immediate cease of the badger cull despite the glaring and undeniable evidence of its substantial effectiveness. They prove once again they put wildlife before livestock and don’t give a damn about Britain’s rural economy. They are costing taxpayers with their pathetic stance. It’s odd how a group that constantly moans about the … Continue reading It IS WORKING, Keep up the Badger Cull

Environment Comes Second to Food Security

BY JIM WEBSTER Russia and the Ukraine have been vying for the position of the world’s largest grain exporters for some time. This is the Moscow times from 2019: “Russia has been the global grain exporter top dog for the last three years, but as the agricultural marketing year ended on June 30, it looks like Ukraine has snatched the title back from its rival.” … Continue reading Environment Comes Second to Food Security

The Acceptable Face of Child Slavery

BY ROGER WATSON While we are not in the season for harvesting potatoes in this country, each time I open a pack of potatoes I cannot help being reminded of the October break we used to have from school in Scotland known as ‘The Tattie Holidays’ (the Scottish word for potato is ‘tattie’). They have almost faded from memory now as the generations of those—like … Continue reading The Acceptable Face of Child Slavery

Spending the Money Thrice

BY JIM WEBSTER The whole system of farm payments is up in the air. To be brutally frank, this isn’t surprising. On a general, first world level, governments have blown so much money on the pandemic they are scrabbling behind the sofa for loose change. I would be surprised if, in five years’ time, any country hasn’t cut its agricultural support, or moved the money … Continue reading Spending the Money Thrice

France’s Forgotten Farmers

BY ROCHELLE BLAKEMAN I always thought the French cared about their farmers more than the British. Much like in Italy, French culture holds food as sacrosanct. We Brits drench everything in lard and grease apparently, much to the dismay of some of my international friends – especially up North. We’re much more likely to eat casually whilst watching Coronation Street whilst our European cousins (especially … Continue reading France’s Forgotten Farmers

A Country Girl’s Reflections on Environmentalism

BY ROCHELLE BLAKEMAN “Toil mastered everything, relentless toil And the pressure of pinching poverty… Everything by nature’s law Tends to the worse, slips ever backward, backward.” Virgil, the Georgics As a farmer’s daughter, I was blessed with a bucolic childhood. With only 1% of the UK population being farmers, it is a lucky stroke to have lived my younger years with a closeness to the … Continue reading A Country Girl’s Reflections on Environmentalism

The Law of Unintended Consequences

BY JIM WEBSTER I don’t often apologise to the government of the People’s Republic of China but I confess I have been somewhat sceptical about their sincerity when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. But apparently they are trying. The government laid down strict limits on the amount of energy that could be used in various provinces. But when lockdown ended, there were a lot … Continue reading The Law of Unintended Consequences