Further to my
last, and to put paid to Herr Fischler's nonsense about farming in the UK here's
more nails for the coffin..........
Ref Site : http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/deprep/2001/ch302.htm
Chapter 3 - MAJOR EVENTS
Farm Incomes in the UK
3.3 The farming industry
experienced another difficult year. Commodity prices were generally depressed
and farm incomes fell by about 25% from the 1999 level. As the pig market was
starting to recover from a prolonged trough, disease problems added to its
difficulties. BSE concerns in other member states had a knock on effect in the
UK. Heavy rains and flooding in the Autumn hit a number of areas and sectors.
Notice how MAFF
never even mentioned the Foot and Mouth disaster in that thumb-nail analysis?
That is despicable. Note also the Chapter is headed, Major Events
and Achievements - FMD 2001 was not a Major Event in their books then
David Hunter was the Head of the Agricultural Group, and takes the
blame I'm sure for this hellish oversight.
Good time to bury bad news was
it David - what with all those "heavy rains and flooding" ?
Ref Site : http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p
Dr. Franz FISCHLER
Member of the European Commission responsible for
Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries
Europe's Rural Areas An
invaluable asset for us all - Opening Speech
Conference on Rural Development
Salzburg, 13 November
I am particularly concerned by the
fact that in a number of rural areas de-population continues to be an acute
problem, linked to low birth and high mortality rates and to out-migration of
young people. Fortunately, there are also other rural areas where the
population is growing, but sometimes at the cost of profound changes in the
I am also concerned by what Professor Bryden has told us
about the lack of access to public services, to higher education and to life
long learning, about the lack of employment opportunities and, in more general
terms, about a lower standard of living.
Our network of Central and East
European Country experts has recently undertaken work for us highlighting that
these problems will be accentuated after enlargement. In a number of rural
regions, there are a larger number of children of school age compared to towns
and cities. This is often accompanied by a flow of workers back from towns. Both
trends put additional pressure on education and training systems. At the same
time, the poverty gap is increasing in many rural areas. As the experts
conclude, “off-farm employment and alternative income sources will become
increasingly decisive for socio-economic well-being in rural areas”.
while I am seriously concerned about these problems and difficulties, I also
believe there are reasons to be encouraged...........
Take for instance
the innovative projects involving employment of young people and the
introduction of Information Technology in rural areas in Finland. Take the
integrated approaches at the farm level in the UK, involving a combination of
nature conservation and environmentally friendly production of quality meat
products. Or take the agro-tourism projects in Greece, involving traditional
olive growing, farm accommodation and traditional cooking.
just 3 examples out of many from North to South in very different domains. The
field trips organised with the help of the Austrian and German authorities later
in the conference will give us a further taste of what rural development means
Herr Fischler has
obviously taken lessons from the ex-Iraqi Minister of Information !
Fischler summation does not quite gel with what is actually happening here in
Nov 19 - 26 ~ 17,000 farm workers gave up last year
"Government statistics show 6,000 farmers and 11,000 labourers left their
businesses in the 12 months up to the 2003 June census. The 4.6% drop in the
workforce means nearly 85,000 have left farming since the Labour government took
office in 1997..."
As John Humphrys said in his recent article "... It
is almost impossible to make a living from a small dairy farm. A few years ago
50 milking cows would produce a decent income. Now you need at least twice as
many just to survive. There is no doubt that the rural economy would benefit
from more small organic farms. So would the environment. So, ultimately, would
the consumer....... Our farm animals would benefit, too.... it would help if the
welfare of animals and the future of organic farming were seen as two elements
in a bigger issue. I think it's called joined-up government.