Sunday, February 11, 2007

absence and food miles ticks on

Well I've been to Scandinavia where people are friendly, beautiful and most things are clean, safe, there aren't CCTV cameras and cops everywhere to deter braindead "youf" from causing havoc.... and I've been very busy working.... and my damned new internet service provider with 2 weeks notice hasn't even managed to get the line sorted out so has to come back next week... and the old one's billing agent keeps trying to extract money out of me for services I cancelled weeks ago (and the contract HAS ended).
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but meanwhile food miles keep being repeated....
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The Times on Saturday in its lifestyle feature (not online) talked of why buying New Zealand lamb might be risky because apparently it isn't as inspected as British lamb - no doubt spread by the EU tit sucking British farmers, which I help pay for without even buying their high carbon footprint product. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of people have read this now - and the forces of UK Green delusions and old fashioned protectionism continue to wage war against the efficient and environmentally friendly New Zealand farmer.
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On top of this a so-called think tank the International Institute for Environment and Development is harping on about food miles according to Reuters, but only gives respite when considering developing countries. Well sorry, the highly subsidised, environmentally unfriendly European farmer deserves all of the approbrium directed at them. Perhaps IIED should do more thinking before promoting food miles like a bunch of sheep.
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According to Belfast Today Northern Ireland farmers want supermarkets to label beef and lamb food miles, as a direct attack against efficient farmers in New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. This is part of a campaign from Fairness for Farmers in Europe.
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Fairness? Fuck them!! Fairness means:
- Being the most heavily subsidised farmers in the world, bar none;
- Not even having the new EU member state farmers subsidised the same, because Polish and Hungarian farmers are more efficient than French and British ones;
- Having one of the most protected markets for food in the world, with high tariffs, quotas and prohibitions on imported food all to protect the poor little bleeting farmers from facing real market prices and compete with farmers from countries where it is their backbone;
- Being subsidised even further to undercut local unsubsidised farmers or other less subsidised farmers from other countries outside Europe.
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The only thing that will be fair will be to end all of this nonsense and let rural Europe be farmed efficiently or return to untilled empty land.
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and here Tesco and Sainsburys have pledged to cut food miles..... great
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By the way I've tried to deal with this on the BBC website with limited success, but you can try here too.
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Helen Clark apparently mentioned this to Tony Blair when she met him recently, but you wouldn't know anything of that in the UK. Clark and John Howard should meet and discuss how to deal with this...
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but still the mainstream NZ media says nothing, maybe the handful of real journalists will wake up and do a story on it, particularly if TVNZ or a newspaper flies one of the plucky young hopefuls to London for a free trip to report on it.

4 comments:

Sean said...

I'm pretty sure the Japanese are the most subsidised on earth - no? Also, while I deplore the nonsense that is "food miles" - I'm not sure NZ doesn't have it coming. We do a similar thing with GM foods - use bogus science to eliminate competition. This is just a case of "what goes around" in my view.

libertyscott said...

Yes the Japanese are, but neither the EU nor NZ produce rice in notable quantities.

The GM food thing is a fair point, but also wrong - and the EU shuts out GM even more rabidly than NZ. So EU farmers have hardly a claim against NZ.

Sean said...

Huh - I'm wrong?
1) You said that EU farmers are "the most heavily subsidised farmers in the world, bar none" not "the most heavily subsidised farmers in the world, except for the Japanese (who only grow rice)".
2) My point about people who use bogus science to erect trade barriers is not made wrong just because others do it. Two wrongs don't make a right - no?

libertyscott said...

In total terms the EU spends more than Japan, but per farmer you are right.

No two wrongs don't make a right, but then the EU can hardly complain about NZ blocking GM food, when it does the same. If NZ removed restrictions on GM food, it wouldn't mean the EU would go "oh foodmiles are rubbish then" would it?

You're not wrong, but it isn't the point. I don't see NZ farmers generally supporting the GMO restrictions.