A friend of mine had a group of city schoolchildren on his farm. They were lucky enough to be present when a hen laid an egg in a hay wrack. Far from being delighted, one young fellow exclaimed in disgust: "Gawd, that's the last time I eat one of them, my mum told me eggs come from the supermarket." Sadly, in spite of the efforts of farmers and farming organisations up and down the country, the extent of this young man's knowledge and understanding of where his staple food is produced is not unique. What I find equally disturbing is the feeling of many farmers that those involved in the retail food industry think that their raw products are produced in the back of a lorry that conveniently arrives at their depots. There is apparently very little understanding, let alone communication, between the food industry and the farmers who toil 12 months of the year in wind, rain, sun, flood, drought, disease and occasional hurricane to supply their raw product. UK farmers are facing increasing red tape, and demands for accountability and farm assured quality, a challenge they willingly embrace because they are confident that they have always adopted best practice. It is in their interest to do so. However their patience is sorely tested when it is apparent that imports from unaccountable sources undercut British produce with the claim that the public demands cheaper food. Rubbish! It is important to communicate with those literally closest to the grassroots. With a little more effort and understanding it would not be impossible for the industry to acknowledge that they should value the British farmer, who is reliable and constant and ­ above all ­ is the best source of their raw product, which is of the highest quality in the world. {{NEWS }}