January 2013


for the benefit of Supermarket buyers just out of University, these are beef cattle, not to be confused with horses. They both have 4 legs and a tail, but horses don’t have horns, easy really!

The rain has now given way to snow, mid January, 6 inches to day. Time to get our paper work up together. SALSA are responsible for our 3rd party audit, happens every year, a day of traceability, checking and records. In general good housekeeping and for our customer base the satisfaction that the job is being done correctly, and any customer who wants a copy of the 30 odd page report, it is there to be read. Which brings us nicely to one of our local MP’s, John Denham (Southampton Itchen) who brings a Private Members Bill, in an effort to prevent supermarkets from deliberately seeking to mislead and misinform customers, on the price of goods sold in the stores. The following day we then have a number of supermarkets, selling beef burgers full of horsemeat. Now I have no particular problem with horsemeat, in fact I would have thought that horsemeat would sell at a premium with the exception of the bits that no one will eat, and we wont go there, not today. The consumer should not really complain, how can anyone produce a packet of beef burgers, for the price that these stores do, and not except that they will be full of the dross that the rest of the world does not want to eat. Will we find these Supermarket directors in court over these issues? No chance, Supermarkets are now ‘Untouchable’, they do what they want, they are totally out of control.


………and it has now stopped raining, already a week into January, and I now have our rainfall figures for the farm, kindly provide by Mike Noakes. The total is 45.15 inches for 2012, only beaten by 2000 when we had 45.85, interestingly last year was only 29.43. That said the damage was done in June, 6.90 inches and July 4.17 and the knock-on effect for food supplies in some cases are yet to be seen. We are going to see food inflation for a while. Milk production is down by some 6.5%, arable yields have been all over the place and some down by 50%, and there are potatoes still in the ground and will never be harvested.
We should just take note that only about 8% of money paid by consumers finds its way back to the farmers, so when we hear sob stories from big supermarkets about having to put their prices up because their raw materials have gone up we need to remember that the average raw material only cost them 8% in the first place. Food prices will go up, so the the big players can protect their profits. TESCO make over £3 billion profit each year and yet are only prepared to pay cost of production for the milk they buy.