The real cost of good food
A lot of material in the papers both today and yesterday about ethical treatment of chickens: it would appear that all the major supermarkets are about to stop sale of eggs from caged hens. This follows a campaign from Jamie Olver.
There is a particularly powerful column by Rachel Johnson in today's Sunday Times called "The real cost of good food." She points out that one reason for the barbarities inflicted on many of the animals we eat is the present economics of farming and food production, which all too often crucifies those small farmers who treat their birds and animals in a more humane way.
Of course, one reason for this is the "Single Farm Payment" policy. Although the money it hands out comes from the EU, the policy is controlled by the UK government and was designed by Margaret Beckett. It could almost have been designed to make life as difficult as possible for small farmers, especially in areas like Cumbria. It doesn't help that what support they get is all too aften paid late.
If we want to have a more humane policy towards farm animals, reform of the "SIngle Farm Payment" system and of its "Deprived areas" and "Exceptionally Deprived areas" regime which has the effect of making farming in those areas even more difficult, should be a priority.