This week National Farmers' Union president Ben Gill told a European conference that farmers should receive a larger share of the retail food price. Also DEFRA secretary of state Margaret Beckett held a meeting to address the issue of the ever-increasing problem of waste and recycling our rubbish. This didn't exactly hit the headlines. I believe that if I put these three people together in a room and throw in a few chairmen of major supermarkets, plus a carefully selected group of farmers, and two prominent vets, we could thrash out some commonsense solutions to many of these problems, create a workable future for a successful agricultural industry, address the welfare problems of livestock, and address the constant threat of importing financially crippling animal diseases. As Lord Haskins discovered last week, each region of this country has its own peculiar difficulties. Margaret Beckett needs to understand that cheap food, imports in particular, comes with a heavy price tag. Food retailers need to address the crises they are creating by packaging food at a cost to the environment and, I suspect, to producers. Ben Gill is right. Farmers need a fairer share of the cake. Retailers profits soar and farming incomes have fallen out of sight. My gathering may take a few days to thrash out a solution but I won't let them out until they have. It is time ministers talked to the right people. {{NEWS }}