Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Church 'urges' Supermarkets to be nice to farmers (why don't they just DO something about it?)

The Right Rev Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter and chair of the rural strategy group, launched the report. He said leading food retailers placed "considerable stress" on the farming community through unfair methods that consumers were largely unaware of.

A climate of fear prevented farmers from speaking out about such practices, he added, with some refusing to be interviewed for the study because they were scared of damaging their relationship with leading food retailers. "It is clear that the Supermarkets Code of Practice is not working. As bishops of a church which is a major investor in the retail food industry and which is also the landlord to many tenant farmers we have a duty to consider the relationship between these two areas of business. We have to ask whether this relationship is fair and whether it operates within what we consider to be the principles of Fair Trade."
Reported in the Guardian.

So, the church is owns a lot of the retail food industry AND the land that the tenant farmers work. They make money from both sides of the deal and yet all they can do is "ask" whether the relationship is fair? I wonder why they don't just DO something about it. Why not advise the public to buy directly from their local farmers? Oh, well, I suppose if the church has an investment in the retail food industry they wouldn't want to risk that.

Farmers are getting a raw deal and supermarket logistics are such that food miles are exacerbated. We can all do something about this, and we can get better food for ourselves, and we can stop eating so much processed junk. All we have to do is to sign up with our local organic box scheme and support our local farmers, and reduce our food miles. OK you will not be eating strawberries in December, much like our ancestors did not. In fact, it seems likely that evolution has grown our bodies to be used to food from our local regions according to the seasons. It seems likely that we will be healthier by eating local, seasonal, organic produce.

(tonight I have cooked vegetarian shepherds pie and apple crumble - all local!).


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