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War shows the folly of ignoring farmers’ role as food producers - by Jamie Blackett - 07.03.22

As the knock-on effects of Putin’s war begin to bite, we look at the wider implications for us here at home. Wholly reliant on foreign fuel to power our economy, we are also dangerously dependent on imported foods and fertilisers, having taken the decision to ‘re-wild’ our countryside to placate the Green lobby instead of boosting production and securing manufacturing supply chains here at home.

All of which could not be more helpful to Vladimir Putin if he’d written the rules himself, according to Jamie Blackett, a farmer from Dumfriesshire, in an article for the Telegraph:

“The UK, for example, is a big net importer of fertiliser, while Russia is one of the biggest exporters of nitrogen and potash, two of the three critical nutrients. Now, surprise surprise, fertiliser prices are at an all-time high, and it is British farmers who are feeling the pinch.

But the problem runs deeper. Even before the current crisis, our farmers were facing extortionately high nitrogen prices as a result of British plants ceasing production in response to higher gas prices. And who, at least in part, was responsible for that rise in gas prices? You guessed it, Putin."

In failing to anticipate the danger, legislation has once again been behind the curve:

Environment Secretary George Eustice had the opportunity to address these problems at the NFU conference last month. He chose instead to make enigmatic predictions that climate change would be good for British farming.

In response, the union’s exasperated president, Minette Batters, accused the Government of a “total lack of understanding of how food production works” and pointed out that, despite living in an increasingly unstable world, ministers’ “ambition for our countryside seems to be almost entirely focused on anything other than domestic food production.”

Prepare to see further cherished policy cows sacrificed on the altar of reality.

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for the Telegraph by Jamie Blackett - War shows the folly of ignoring farmers - 07
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