Farming Today complaint

james armstrong james36army at
Wed Oct 15 21:48:45 BST 2008

see also

Ex-NFU chief's lamb welfare fine
Hugh Richards was awarded an OBE for his services to agriculture
A former president of the National Farmers' Union Wales has been told to pay a total of £920 after pleading guilty to 24 animal welfare charges.

BBC Information,
Wood lane, London W12

Dear Sir,                Farming Today-  complaint 
Thankyou for your  reply to my letters.
I am pleased to note that   BBC   are not in the pocket of the NFU.
I conclude therefore that the superficial output of the FT programmes must be due to poor knowledge of the agricultural industry.
To that end I enclose  a copy of  The Land magazine and take the opportunity of giving you some basic facts to start you on your quest for information about  British agriculture which you will then want to communicate to your listeners.

1 The average farm holding  of the UK owners  who are usually landowners  rather than farmers is just under 260 acres.
2 UK land prices at £4,500 per acre make  every single landowner in the UK , all 158,000 of them , statistically a £millionaire.
3 Yet the average net farm holding income is £20,000 (05/06)
4 Of this income, 53% represents EU subsidy, and without this subsidy  a farmholding income would be £9,692 (for a land  £millionaire!)   and £2,382 below the legal minimum wage.
5 One question this poses is, "Why , in an affluent society   with  60 million domestic consumers who eat food three times a day and after 200 years of huge technological  progress and  of  improvements  in agricultural techniques  is UK farming uneconomic and a commercial failure?
6 The answer might  lie in the diversion of funds  into sky-rocketing land values to reward landowners  who are mainly not the agriculturalists.
7 If so, this is a major achievement of  landowners benefiting from enduring  feudal  fiscal , political, legal and constitutional  power, headed by the Queen and the Duke of Cornwall who as landowners posing as farmers accrue  a statistical £10.1million and £12.1million EU subsidy through the Single Farm Payments scheme from their land holdings of 90,000 acres and 141,000 acres.  The Duke of Buccleuch heads the table of  19 hereditary dukes  holding land, with his personal  £24.1million in E.U. grants  each year (including tenants' grants). 
8. UK farming only produces 71% of the  food which is indigenous to U.K. and only 58% of all our food.
9. These facts which take five minutes to  read , the listener would never learn from the annual sixty five hours public service broadcasting of BBC's Farming Today. 

I refer you to DEFRA "Agriculture in the UK, 2006" and "Who Owns the World?" by Kevin Cahill,
and suggest you can  rely on the media department of the NFU to get a thoroughly convincing argument for 
a continuation of the present agricultural policy from the viewpoint of the beneficiaries of taxpayers largesse.
 Brtish agriculture is directed from Europe. You may think that the comment of Kevin Cahill is not far wide of the mark:

"Put bluntly, we hand out $48,000 million a year, to 3% of our population, to maintain in business  the most uncompetitive industry on the planet…"   James A.


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