January 16 - 22 2005 ~ "In Lord Haskins' vision the traditional farming landscape will go out the window...." Andrew George
Justifying the demise of small farms, Lord Haskins says that supermarkets "keep inflation down", there is no exploitation and "people like shopping in supermarkets".
However, the destruction of small-scale farming will have consequences for Britain not mentioned by Lord Haskins. The low prices from cut-throat competition between supermarket giants will last only until the winning giant has a monopoly. Then, with the demise of small producers, with Rural Britain reduced to a desolate ranch-like landscape, with Keep Out signs around intensive "farms" and feed-lots, the population will have no choice but pay whatever prices are demanded.
Friday's WMN article is chilling:
"For the last 150 years we have seen fewer and larger farms and that trend will accelerate.."
.... Andrew George described Lord Haskins as "the real Secretary of State" for farming and said his comments reflected the reality of government policy. He said large dairy farmers were also going out of business because the low level of milk prices made it impossible for them to invest.
"It is quite clear that the Government is happy to stand aside and watch farmers leave the land, rather than intervene," he said. "The fact is that farmers are struggling and that farm gate prices are now entirely dictated by the supermarkets. We must have a counter-balance in the supply chain to protect small farmers, otherwise we will see our countryside turned into massive ranches. In Lord Haskins' vision the traditional farming landscape will go out the window...."Read article in full