Sir; As a business which is committed to growing the understanding and acceptance of Indian cuisine throughout the world, and having achieved the honour of being recognised as the Food and Drink Exporter of the Year 2000, I feel compelled to comment on your leading article in last week's Grocer (April 7, 2001). From my perspective, the management by MAFF of the implications of FMD for exporters such as ourselves has been a shambles. It has taken nearly two months to identify what procedures and documentation are required to resume shipping to EU countries, and arrangements for other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Czechoslovakia are still not finalised. In addition to the frustration caused by an apparent lack of activity in these respects, there has also been a total lack of response by MAFF to our written and verbal communication. We have tried on many occasions by telephone, fax, email or correspondence with MAFF officials but until the recent involvement of FFB and the FDF, had no reply. In total frustration I then faxed a personal note to Nick Brown, but have received no response. It appears that MAFF's prime objective in the crisis has been to manage issues relating to the farming industry, rather that the food chain in total. There must be a re-think of the management of issues relating to all aspects of the food supply chain and on which government department or agency has over-arching responsibility. Having created a Food Standards Agency, why not create a Food Minister within the DTI? David Page MBE Managing director Patak's Foods Haydock Lancashire {{LETTERS }}