FARMING: Big stores controlling our farms

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In reply to Andrew Malkin’s letter in the Free Press this week (about sunflowers and cauliflowers being destroyed).

This is rural Lincolnshire and farmers try to take as little soil as possible onto the highway because they could be prosecuted for doing so and yes tractors are noisy.

Your house and garden was probably once part of a smallholding where a family business would supply local markets with produce for a modest income, but things have changed.

With the ever-increasing population in the UK and the demand for the cheapest product we are now controlled by the “supermarket”.

Regarding your inconvenience of “spray drift” would you buy any edible brasica if it was infested with greenfly or caterpillars?

Insects are like vertebrates , what goes in must come out! And the supermarkets would reject this product which would result in a whole crop being destroyed (personally if it’s produced locally with a low carbon footprint and washed properly I will eat it ).

But this is probably not the reason the field opposite your house has had two different crops destroyed.

The supermarkets have far too much power over their suppliers – sometimes they demand to see the costs of the product they are buying so they can pitch their price as low as possible.

Also if a contracted supplier is unable to supply a product because of harvesting problems which is usually controlled by nature the grower will have to import the product to comply with the contract at their own expense. This is why many fields of produce are being destroyed.

It is said that some local 
producers who supply the main supermarkets only use 60 to 70 per cent of the crop they plant to supply their contracts – the other 30 or 40 per cent is “just in case” of season fluctuations and harvesting problems which would save them excessive importing costs.

When many in this world are starving the waste is not produced by the grower, but by the supermarkets.

Paul Newell

via email