Valuing our dairy at last
Sir: New initiatives and moves towards more sustainable pricing models on liquid milk are welcome changes. But with around a quarter of UK milk processed into cheese we now need to see an improved commitment to farmers supplying milk for cheese and other dairy products.
We mustn’t brush over milk used in cafés and foodservice, c-stores and hard discounters, Farmfoods and Iceland. All these are next on the list for the NFU and talks are under way.
It’s unfortunate it’s taken this crisis for retailers and others in the chain to recognise the vital importance of the British dairy sector in supplying high-quality, nutritious dairy products day in day out. I do hope lessons have now been learnt about the fragility of this industry, and about how much shoppers value British dairy products.
Rob Harrison, NFU dairy board chairman
Make health the norm
Sir: It’s wonderful to see the nation is recognising that sugar is the ingredient we need to watch (‘Most consumers are trying to reduce sugar,’ 22 August, p6 ). The Bridgethorne research indicates 75% of participants think current health labelling is effective, and over half say they could think of no way labelling could be improved. However, as humans we take it quite badly when we feel we are missing out. Yet healthier options are still wrapped in language like ‘low’, ‘less’ and ‘free’. Brands can change our default by relabelling those products as the norm, and potentially go a step further to relabel the alternatives as ‘extra-sugar’, ‘more sugar’ etc. I believe changing how we perceive the ‘norm’ would have an even greater impact on the nation’s behaviour with regards to sugar consumption.
Jo Arden, head of strategy, 23red
Farmers are packing up
Sir: I’m an arable farmer, and our prices are currently at cost of production (‘Current crisis could be end of British produce,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 11 August). We get paid a premium for producing good quality milling wheat, but at the moment these premiums are hardly worth growing a quality crop for.
The problem with farming is that you put your investment in and don’t see a return until a year later. The weather is unusual at the moment, to say the least, and land prices, farm rent are sky high. Many farms are packing up across the board. If we end up buying all our food from China online from Amazon so be it. No more green and pleasant land.
‘Bluepsc’ via thegrocer.co.uk