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Farming Matters: John Davies - 'I only wish we had a House of Common Sense'

While the world is captured by the ravages of Covid 19, the practice of a former political spin doctor to use a ‘crisis to bury bad news’ is as alive as ever.

John Davies is chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s board of management and farms in north Pembrokeshire.
John Davies is chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s board of management and farms in north Pembrokeshire.

Politicians really do not learn and definitely do not listen. To vote down an amendment which would have safeguarded our consumers and our food producers is nothing less than criminal, when you consider the far reaching consequences of such an option.

 

Whether you placed your cross next to Brexit or not four years ago, is not the issue.

 

The question is, do we wish to have a nation predominately fed by its own or are we to become dependent on other parts of the world for our sustenance - a high risk policy.

 

The clamour of the majority of Westminster politicians to cap food inflation at any cost, is nothing less than short sighted and really is symptomatic of our politicians, always looking for the short-term fix till the next ballot box.

 

It feels to us as farmers that we have for some time entered a race to the bottom. It is not sustainable for the industry or in the long-term interest of consumers to witness a food producing industry doing nothing more than chasing its tail in an ever decreasing quest to make a margin.


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Fragile

 

Covid 19 has really highlighted how fragile some of our sectors are. Timing wise, it came at a better time for lamb, but I expect it is the calm before the storm. For milk, springtime is never easy.

 

What the virus has highlighted is the very fine line between the old lessons of supply and demand.

 

With all of this happening, we now witness a UK Government about to inflict an act of self-harm by setting course to leave the EU come hell or high water by the end of the year and the need to quench their political thirst for a quick fix deal with our mates across the big pond.

 

Self-destruction comes to mind. I only wish we had a House of Common Sense.

 

It is all well and good to promise high end tariffs on inferior products, but once the door is open, the will to regulate such an arrangement will disappear as promptly as a political promise.

 

What can we do? All of us this very minute need to support the actions of those organisations representing our industry by rattling the political cage.

 

All politicians find it uncomfortable to explain their actions to their electorate. Write to them, make an appointment to see them and hold them to account.

 

Historically, the farming industry’s survival has never been founded on glossed up false prophets, but on sheer determination, tenacity and hope. The clock is ticking. Now is the time to show our steel.

 

See you at the 2021 Royal Welsh Show.

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