Jamie Blackett, a farmer in Dumfriesshire, has written an article for the Telegraph laying the blame for the current shortage of vegetables on Net Zero and the Government’s misguided obsession with ‘sustainability’ over affordable supply.
If public expectations are that they should be able to eat tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in February, something previous generations could barely imagine, it is perhaps understandable that logistics along an attenuated supply chain will play a major part. Yet the fact that this has happened during a relatively normal period, without a pandemic or general strike, highlights once again that the model on which successive governments have based their food and farming strategies is now deeply flawed.
At the heart of the problem is a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) still in the grip of the Green Blob and wholly uninterested in the messy business of producing food. The paradigm has shifted but the civil servants haven’t. Defra’s preoccupation remains ‘sustainability’ and environmental management – seemingly denying that large quantities of food can be produced while maintaining high environmental standards.
In fact, in many respects, a regeneratively farmed environment can be better for biodiversity than ‘rewilded’ land. Nevertheless, thanks to Net Zero targets, acres of productive land continue to be given over to solar farms, while the nation’s roofs remain relatively unpanelled. Trees are favoured in place of crops and animals. The Government’s flagship Environmental Land Management scheme has a bias towards cutting production. All of which won’t be much use if our people go hungry.
Worth reading in full.