Sir: A recent study found that climate change will have drastic consequences for wild Arabica coffee (‘Arabica coffee could be extinct by 2080’, thegrocer.co.uk, 8 November). Although this concerns a future almost 70 years from now, we can’t be complacent about the findings.
Cafédirect has already seen the effects of climate change in all of the 10 coffee countries we operate in. Not a coffee drinker? Well, it’s the same story for tea. When you hear from growers in Peru that rainfall has increased by as much as 500% wiping out their crop, or that they’ve seen frost on tea plants for the first time in Kenya, you can’t just sit back and watch it happen.
This is not just a problem for a distant group of farming families whose living comes from the land. People need to wake up to the reality of living in a global community. Economic growth cannot be separated from environmental and social impacts and all three must be measured and valued if we are to have a positive future. Especially one that retains our morning cuppa.
John Steel, CEO, Cafédirect
When the dairy runs dry
Sir: While it is very welcome that the UK government is promoting dairy exports, what is it doing to promote increased production of milk?
UK milk production is currently plummeting. Without more domestic milk becoming available in the very near future, food processors - who use a disproportionate amount of fresh dairy ingredients from the UK - will struggle to expand production.
Name and address supplied
Believe in British eggs
Sir: I fully endorse the sentiments of Ian Jones when he writes that not all egg products are the same (Letters, 3 November). We need to restore confidence in British eggs, which is why the Laid In Britain food safety and welfare assurance scheme run by UKEP was launched in 1999.
Supporting independent egg producers and retailers and supplying locally, the scheme includes a rigorous testing and monitoring programme to maintain the health and welfare of the laying flocks and guarantee the best quality eggs to the end-user. Their close proximity to market ensures optimum freshness and traceability.
The Laid In Britain scheme offers an alternative to the Lion scheme and is unique in that, in addition to vaccinating all hens against salmonella, it also employs a product that is not unlike probiotics, which promotes optimum gut health in flocks. This belt and braces approach ensures that Laid In Britain eggs are exceptionally healthy and can be bought with total confidence.
Andy Oatley, chairman, United Kingdom Egg Producers Association
Sir: Members of the FDF Yogurt and Chilled Desserts Sector Group are fully aware of the developments in the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation which were highlighted in your recent article (‘yoghurt makers lobby to save ‘probiotic’ on labels’, 3 November, p34).
Firstly, the group would like to point out that the UK retail value of yogurts and yogurt drinks containing probiotic cultures is significant - worth approximately £400m.
Secondly, the group feels that the potential loss of the term ‘probiotic’ would be felt by the industry as well as creating confusion for consumers, and supports a move for the continued use of the descriptor, subject to agreed conditions of use.
FDF Yogurt and Chilled Desserts Sector Group