In Tim Lang's column the problems of farming, or more correctly food production, were well explained. Policy makers no longer consider that farming matters.

As an industry going back hundreds of years, our economics have more often gone down than up due to imported food. Whether it was wheat and wool in the 19th century or meat and dairy products from New Zealand and Argentina in the 20th, home production suffered.

Two world wars, followed by the drawing of the Iron Curtain, battered our pantry doors to such an extent that the 1947 Agriculture Act introduced farm intensification linked to a cheap food regime for the consumer, all of which eventually lifted affluence and changed domestic spending traits.

Lang points out that we now spend more out of the home on food than we do in it. He explained the effects of the gross value added - and therein lies the farming problem, for from farmgate to the pantry door our produce rises in value by anything from 200% to 300%.

The price paid by the end consumer, be it in or out of the home, is satisfactory in the eyes of the producer. We cannot go on expecting consumers to increase spending to solve the problem.

Our difficulty is that, while our production investment is always over many months, or in the case of meat over two to four years, we see the GVA going so high in the space of a few days or weeks.

The government's report on the sustainability of food and farming stressed the need for farmers to reconnect with consumers. Indeed, some retailers have moved towards local produce, but in reality not much progress has been made.

In theory, we tillers of soil and keepers of livestock have all the aces in our hands. For starters, Lang tells us that the gap between home production and total requirement is now £28.7bn. In addition, we reduce food miles and ensure total traceability, high welfare standards, health and hygiene.

If cheap food for the consumer has done any harm it may well have been to the producer, for it made us far too independent and put a brake on co-operation that should have given us more influence over the processing and distribution of our produce. Across Europe, and in other countries, there are excellent examples of producer co-operation.

So to the policy makers who say "let farming die", drowning its death pangs in the smoke and mirrors of environment, organics, birds and bees, I would simply say this: time is running out. Take your responsibilities seriously and listen to those who understand.

To me the benchmark has to be my grandchildren and their future. No longer can we allow the short-term expediency of politicians to run us into disaster. In 1950, the world population was 2.7 billion. Today it is 6.2 billion and by 2050, it will be more than nine billion. In the past decade, UK self-sufficiency has fallen by 13% to 74% and it is falling still. The combination of UK/EU agri policy forcing farmers to become subsidy-free is creating a rapid rundown in production. Across the world, concrete carpets cover fertile dirt, soil erosion increases, deserts expand and, as population rises, fertile food resources dwindle.

All of us in the food supply chain must start to work as one. Our home food production is dropping far faster than most people ­realise. Gross spending on food has to be sufficient for all of us to make a sustainable return - and that will only be achieved by talking together more openly than in the past.