March 2014


A grey day for the dairy industry, Grey Cat looks after vermin control at Bridge Farm

The writing has been on the wall for some time now, post horse gate. Several weeks ago the CoOp started to sell off, thousands of acres of farms to fund their operation. This week, Morrison’s announce a pretty serious profit warning, and they also start selling off the family silver and property, to fund a bloody war, on the pile it high, sell it cheap discounters. They are all victims of there own greed and over investment. Not happy, to run a sound business, they have to spend all day chewing holes in one another, as they grovel around, telling the world, that one is cheaper than the other. There is only one set of losers here, the farming community, who are constantly being asked to jump through more hoops, and even higher bars. For those of us that still produce milk, ‘Milk wars’, between Asda and TESCO, is all part of the opening salvo, followed quickly by the other lemmings, for what is going to be a ferocious war. For them, milk is just a throw away product, to be sold cheaper than water. For dairy farmers it is profoundly depressing that the product of their labours is treated with such contempt, no good will come of this stupidity.

Is this the beginning of the end. Not entirely, for consumers that choose to spend their money on good quality food and sustainability, the farm shops, Deli’s and Hampshire Farmers Markets are busy. Organic sales were up by 2.8% last year and our order books for organic veg are full for this year. Veg boxes are great value, delivered to your door, Riverford and Abel & Cole do a great job.

Then the phone rings in the office, there are days when it never stops, and there are days when it goes quiet, James Brown, not Martin, has been busy, running flat out to get our cheese, stock levels back to normal after a hectic Christmas. The caller is Stuart Oates, a researcher for the BBC. ‘We are making a new James Martin programme’, he says, ‘Based around James at home and local producers’. Would we be interested in taking part with Old Winchester. Only one answer there! Great fun, filming, twice baked cheese soufflés. James is a great supporter of the the dairy industry, butter cheese and cream, great quality ingredients is the order if the day. Go on spoil yourself, if you think the recipe is too extravagant cut out the dandelion leaves and nuts!!


James Martin, lives in a house, where the word ‘skimmed’ milk is a
swear word. Great supporter of the British Dairy industry. Thank you James.