Dream on! I fear this is unlikely to happen, Mrs Beckett and others tell us that the public want cheap food. Well, over the last four years farmers have seen farm gate prices plummet to levels often below the cost of production without consumers benefiting from these falls. How can we expect UK farmers to produce even cheaper food if costs of production and margins are not reflected in retail prices? A friend of mine has just returned from New Zealand. Typical of most farmers, his visit was something of a busman's holiday. William visited farming friends and was pleased to find they are enjoying levels of prosperity not seen since the 1970s, a success story despite all state support having been withdrawn. William recognises UK farming has to change and was curious to find out what lessons he could learn from New Zealand's experience. He found it would cost him £4,000 more to collect a tractor direct from a UK factory than for his friend to have the same vehicle delivered to New Zealand. Also, most costs were lower than those in the UK ­ for example, labour 50% less, and, importantly, virtually no bureaucratic interference and red tape. Above all, farmers are valued! Recently Safeway's director of communications Kevin Hawkins told a meeting of Sussex farmers that there should be better communications between farmer and retailer and the food chain must be more transparent. Sure, but until the food retail industry stop fighting and competing to see who can produce the cheapest shopping basket and the biggest profits, this is unlikely to happen. {{NEWS }}