Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Farming & Farmers

The crisis in the dairy industry has taken the BBC news headline today and it may encourage people to really start thinking about where their food comes, not just milk, and how vulnerable we are as farmers to market forces. What other industry finds itself selling a product for less than it costs to produce and be able to stay in business.
In December the number of dairy farmers in Britain dropped to below 10,000, a 50%(!!!) fall since 2001.
There are always people out there who have a perception that farmers are miserable,complaining curmudgeons, well maybe they too would complain if they felt that they were working for nothing and were unable to do anything about it.
The general public's view of farming & farmers is confused I think.
On the one hand there is the bucolic rose-tinted idea of the merry peasant tilling his ground and tending his animals and on the other there is the greedy, factory farmer keeping livestock in huge sheds & despoiling the land. Both views are extreme nonsense.
The reality is that farming covers a wide spectrum of methods, lifestyles and aspirations. We all work hard in often very difficult and challenging conditions & using methods that are often misunderstood by the consumer but at the end of the day we are all producing that most basic of human requirements, food.
Without farmers and educators (those who pass on knowledge, not just peddlers of information)there is nothing.

No comments:

Post a comment