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British Food and Farming

Denise Lloyd

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Seeing Megielland's post on the HC Farms forum reminded me on something I meant to do earlier in the week. 


I will respond to Greenknight's question about anybody connected with farming on this site well I strongly suspect I am the person most closely connected to the farming industry on here but I am unable to answer the questions about subsidies.  However subsidies are not something that were introduced after joining the EU.  Subsidies were introduced after WWII when food was in very short supply and a great many farming workers had been killed or maimed and I believe subsidies came into force to kick start food production in this country.


Prior to joining the EU there were the Milk Marketing Board Potato Marketing Board Egg Marketing Board Wool Marketing Board and there was one for cereals as well.  These were set up by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food employing experts in their fields without the endless tiers of Management and one of their purposes was to set quotas so that there was not overproduction of any one thing in a year so preventing  food mountains (remember the butter mountain).  Now we have DEFRA which is sadly is not dedicated totally to farming.  


As said on the other forum a tremendous amount of pre-prepared food is sourced from overseas.  Pick up any premade chicken curry and see if you can see where the chicken is from in a lot of cases it doesn't say.  When I asked a main supermarket many years ago I was told it came from Korea or Indonesia.


The EU has set up all these guidelines which creates a lot of waste food - straight cucumbers parsnips not up to the mark.  


Cakes biscuits anything cooked and bought with egg in a lot of people would be very surprised to know that the majority of eggs used in the production are imported usually as dried egg.  Ridiculous this country is perfectly capable of producing enough eggs for the need in this country.


I do not know what effect coming out of the EU will have on agriculture but I do know British food production meets the highest standards in the world. 

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Greenknight posted this on HC Farms 


"Thanks Megilleland for the last post which for me highlights the conflict many English farmers have regarding an EU exit particularly those that rely on foreign labour.This I believe is endorsed by the very fact that the NFU sits on the farm fence.

You have to take a step back for a moment and consider where the bulk of grass roots Conservative support comes from in our rural English farming communities.Deep down many may wish to have better control and Mr Patterson raises som

e credible points but would they really get the same level of financial support from said Tory government and at what cost after all one has to question how it is possible now to bring in food from around the globe and sell it cheaper than what Farmer Jones can offer down the road. Yes I know there are lots of corporates making money in this globalization food distribution model however my biggest fear will be that a move away from EU without an equivalent financial support package in place could mean a significant rise in food prices and although this affects all of us it will inflict serious hardship on those that cannot afford and in turn this will impact on every aspect of our lives..all of us." 


A lot depends on how discerning you are when it comes to what food you eat.  I think I am correct in saying that the salmonella testing of eggs is only carried out in this country don't quote me on that but I am pretty sure I heard it said somewhere.


Growth promoters(Hormones) are not used in this country on farm animals they are more than likely used in many other countries but they are definitely not used in the UK.


Chicken production whilst there are many protesters in the way it is done in this country the standards would be higher than else where in the world.


Caging of farrowing sows not permitted in this country but widely used in many other European countries.


Force feeding of geese to produce foie fais again banned with a capital B in this country but used in France 


Having seen fruit and veg picked by foreign workers I would much prefer they picked it than some of workers in this country - they are generally a lot quicker hence they can pick more making it more cost effective etc

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Ah... ok I didn't see this topic Denise.


Don't get me wrong I totally except that we have a great reputation for food production standards...but as my post says at what price?My wife and I have visited Ludlow farmshop or Oakchurch as examples but the prices would not fit everyone's budget.The Co-open is a useful local store but I'm not sure everyone could afford to complete a full weekly shop for say a family of four on a regular basis.

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Neither can I afford to do a weekly shop at any of those 3 places.  In fairness to the supermarkets a lot of British food is stocked and as far as I am concerned their food is just as good as the ones you have mentioned.  I buy foreign food but certainly not meat.


For those of you who eat meat and buy it from a butcher when you buy your weekend joint of meat you can ask to see the register and it will tell you which farm the meat came from.  It is called traceability.

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Well I have my doubts.. not everyone can afford British produce and we eat more chicken these days than red meat again because of price.

Personally I think many small farms will go to the wall unless heavily subsidized should we exit the E.U which I believe we will,assimilated by wealthy land owners or supermarket chains.

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