LETTER: We must support our farmers

By Shropshire Star | Readers' letters | Published:

A reader urges people to support British farmers.

Farmers need our support.

Copy of a letter sent to Philip Dunne MP Philip to be passed on to Farming Minister George Eustace and the UK NFU.

Trade negotiations with the US and Japan should not compromise our hard won, high animal welfare standards and excellent food quality in the UK.

A cumulative body of scientific research has forced British and European farmers to accept the detrimental effect chemical farming has had on their industry during the second half of the twentieth century. Wildlife trusts have been at the vanguard of this research for over 50 years.

The widespread use of insecticides and herbicides have caused mass extinction of insects and birds in orchards and farms that rely on them for pollination - especially fruit and vegetables. I have witnessed this during my lifetime. Some chemicals have been banned now, much to the displeasure of many farmers who resist the inevitable climate change.

The United Kingdom should refuse to allow American hormone treated chickens into our markets. They will be sold cheaply to undercut UK farmers' products. High quality meat and less of it, eaten daily, is beneficial to human health alongside an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables. If we follow the US strategy it would chase off other opportunities to trade with our nearest neighbours in Europe after Brexit.

US bullying will not be tolerated by UK citizens. This year our farmers have already struggled with months of flooding followed by drought and an early heatwave. The prospect of poor harvests is real. Climate change is here, a raw reality. Covid virus 19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on rural B&B hospitality businesses which have been in lockdown during the fine, warm weather. B&B rural farmhouse services make a stop gap income which has saved some rural families from bankruptcy - but not this year. They need financial help now, much more urgently than other industries that are not tied to the land.

Farmers are hardy, industrious people who, given a chance, are very enterprising. Their younger generation will drift away from farming if not even encouragement. Our largely urban population must be made to realise ow important they are for our survival. They need a living wage for all their hard work. Buy local, buy British.

Daphne Phillips, Ludlow

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