Wednesday, 2 November 2011

OMScO, TB Testing of Cattle, Well Matured Christmas Cake

I missed the opportunity yesterday to write 1-11-11 which looks very neat & tidy, however we had to attend an orgainc milk producers meeting and the day just disappeared.
The meeting with OMScO (http://www.omsco.co.uk/) was good in that we were informed of a much needed price increase in our milk price which pleased everyone. The very worrying thing is though is that the organic dairy market in UK is still dropping & we are so dependent on export sales to Europe and the exchange rate. The market for organic dairy products is still growing on the continent. Unless the British retailers by which of course one means the big supermarkets, take an interest in organic products there is very little that can be done to up the consumer demand. Impressive tv adverts may do something for certain products but not necessarily for the whole industry. New marketing strategies are trying to be found & the comsumer needs to be better informed on the value of organically produced milk & other foods.

Last week all our cattle, the dairy cows & the Herefords were brought in for their annual TB test. The vet came out to do the preliminary injections & then returned two day later to test for any reactors. There were none which was very good news for us. TB is an on-going problem for dairy farmers and many of our milking colleagues  have suffered loss of herds & restricted movement of cattle. We are very fortunate that so far we have not had TB coming into our herd; maybe this is due to the fact that we are a 'closed' herd, not buying cattle from outside. The badger cull in Wales has been stopped though the Farmer & I have never been fully convinced that a cull was the answer. Vaccination of both cattle & badgers would seem to be a more sensible approach.

Last week I made the Christmas cakes and when I was putting them away in the oak cupboard in our dining-room I found I still had one left from last year...so we are eating it! And as a very well-matured dark fruit cake it is excellent, rich & moist with strong lingering aura of brandy & spices. Can a really good rich fruit cake be left to mature too long? I don't think so.

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