Sir; In your Opinion column last week you lamented the absence of DEFRA ministers in New York to support the excellent British effort at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Their absence was especially surprising since the Irish minister was in NYC to support the Island of Ireland exhibit which was considerably smaller than the British pavilion. I suppose we will be told that Mrs Beckett and her team, being new to the job, had too big an agenda to see the first class effort by the home country, pulled together most professionally by Food from Britain. I too was astounded by the average American's attitude to British food and their ignorance of foot and mouth issues. But after visiting the show with me, my American hosts changed their views and shot out to a New York deli to try to buy our jam. Well, at least it's a start! Name and address supplied {{LETTERS }}