Rally for Standards
A rally will be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster on Wednesday 25th March to urge the Government to protect standards of food hygiene and animal welfare. Despite repeated assurances from Ministers that standards will not be compromised in any future trade deals, the Government has refused to enshrine that in law through the Agriculture Bill. The NFU has assembled a grand coalition of farmers, consumers, environmentalists, health experts and animal welfare campaigners to attend the rally.
Concerns have been expressed about the Government’s new immigration policy that emphasises high skilled, high paid jobs. The many industries that rely on low skilled migrant workers, farming amongst them, have expressed fears of a shortage of labour under the new rules. This comes at a time when opinion polls show that immigration is no longer a priority amongst voters.
Demand for Beans
The price of beans has risen sharply over recent weeks due to increased demand, especially for export, and is now around £200 per tonne. There is also a report that a farmer from Kent has achieved a yield of eight tonnes per hectare, largely due to cool dry weather at pollination. Both reports are good news for those farmers seeking to improve soil fertility by growing this legume.
More farm animals are being slaughtered in British abattoirs with an increase of 5.4% over the past two years to almost 28.8 million. This comes despite the fact that the number of vegetarians in this country is rising from one in eight today to a predicted one quarter by 2025. The Vegan Society claims that there are 600,000 vegans in the UK. The increase in slaughtering is being driven by export demand, partly due to the devastation to the East Asian pig population caused by African Swine Fever.