Getting a consensus among stakeholders within UK Food plc is nearly as hard as persuading the MLC to promote Danish bacon. So reformers like Nick Brown, Ben Gill, Joanne Denney, Patrick Holden, Mike Mackenzie and Co should only allow themselves a few self satisfied smiles behind the cowsheds at next week's Royal Show. Of course, there was a day when you would have been hard pressed to spot many senior food folk at this annual rural love-in. But times are changing. The gloomy grocery traditionalists who preach a "farmers can't be trusted" gospel, and the weatherbeaten sons of the soil who believe all supermarket buyers learn their trade from Attila the Hun's training manuals are less vocal. A wider spirit of unity and trust is beginning to surface and, hopefully, it can be developed in the sunshine at Stoneleigh. Plans for a code of best business practice for buyers and sellers is progressing, while Nick Brown continues his campaign to generate industry unity. Add Ben Gill's new red tractor scheme in 10 store chains, and that suggests an encouraging scenario across the whole chain. But, as I said at the top of this column, maintainingconsensus on all these issues means much hard work lies ahead. For, sadly, if cynicism were a marketable commodity, the Brits would easily be world market leaders. So it's no surprise that the NFU's Ben Gill has been forced into a spirited attack on the knockers of his newly unveiled British Farm Standard Mark. Of course there are too many quality logos on our food packs. But the point of the tractor is that it is intended to be an all embracing replacement for most of them. And as for the jibes that foreign producers will rush to adopt the scheme, that hardly seems to be a serious threat given most multiples promise they will only display it on home produced products. Although our farmers are still in dire straits, the food chain should meet at the Royal with much to look forward to. But it's up to its central players to ensure that parochialism laced with recent poisonous doses of industry politics does not shatter the campaigns for unity. Clive Beddall, Editor {{OPINION }}