ROGER WELBERRY is hoping for better fortune in the fields this year in WORD ON THE GROUND...
I must start the New Year wishing all readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
There now, that’s the word - PROSPEROUS. I hope everybody ‘prospers’ but will it be ‘Prosperous’?
Looking at last year’s Fresh Produce prices and the prospects for the coming months, it does not look prosperous.
Potato prices have never been so low for many years, I’m talking farm gate prices.
At times, cauliflowers were not worth cutting. We have that many white/Dutch cabbage that we don’t have enough bins to hold them all.
Sprouts at Christmas were so cheap in the supermarkets. Although yields were down, there was more than enough for everybody.
All these crops are expensive to grow. Seed prices have risen, labour costs have risen, our range of pesticides limited. Growers must question – How do we cut costs? Where is there any savings? Do we carry on growing fresh produce?
What annoyed me on the radio farming report only a few days ago was a spokesman from the British Retail Consortium, saying the cost of living has risen two per cent due to the increased price of fresh produce.
Do they ever consult the grassroots, the actual growers, straight from the grower’s mouth?
He also said we must grow more home-produced vegetables to save on imports. I quite agree, but it must be viable for us to be prosperous and invest in the future.
Hoping you are all ‘Winter Well’ and look forward to the Spring and new, better beginnings.