Scottish independence campaign: FFA to ask all politicians if they will legislate on farm gate prices
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Press release from William Taylor, Farmers For Action UK NI co-ordinator:
Rural dwellers in Scotland have a golden opportunity to settle the debate on independence: they should immediately put the case to the Scottish National Party and to the Westminster government for safety-net legislation on farm gate prices and see what the politicians are made of, then vote accordingly.
A project campaigning for legislation on farm gate prices for staples
12 months ago in Northern Ireland, FFA put the case for legislation on farmgate prices for all the staples that would provide a safety net giving farmers a minimum of the true cost of production plus a margin inflation linked return minimum. If the market prices go higher NI farmers would receive such prices, but when prices fall they could only legally come down to the safety-net price of the cost of production plus a margin inflation linked.
In Northern Ireland four farm organisations, including Northern Ireland Livestock Auctioneer Associations, are now working equally with Farmers For Action on the project with the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister and the Agriculture Committee at Stormont. The icing on the cake for the Northern Ireland politicians who see the legislation through is the creation of 25,000 jobs immediately, which equates to a minimum of one professional job for every farm in Northern Ireland, only to be followed by thousands more good quality permanent jobs throughout agriculture and its suppliers. In Scotland this would equate initially to 53,000 jobs.
- 25% of UK family farmers are living below the poverty line (welfare overrides the legislation being anti competitive);
- the price of beef is in free fall along with virtually every other commodity needing a huge lift to even reach the true cost of production, eg milk 42p/l, beef £5.15 per kg, lamb £5.15 per kg, potatoes £175 per tonne;
- grain and oil seeds are one of the few exceptions, in that world market shortages due to bio fuel use is keeping the price currently just about cost of production but usually over and above.
With family farmers standing no chance of getting a fair price against the likes of Tesco or corporate processors, it’s time for the politicians who put Scotland before themselves to stand forward and do what Roosevelt did in the US 30s depression; he couldn’t get the US out of recession until he put money in farmers’ pockets. Farmers with money in their pockets purchase from approximately 123 other businesses and create employment, they cannot currently reinvest and continue producing food whilst losing money.
So come on Scotland! Put the case to the politicians, let’s end 21st century rural poverty together by making the politicians pull their weight and earn their keep. Now is your golden opportunity to turn the debate back to the politicians and ask if they are prepared to legislate on farm gate prices so that rural dwellers are properly rewarded for their work as the Lisbon Treaty states, or if they will turn their backs on 53,000 Scottish jobs by putting corporate greed first, yet again!
Farmers For Action
56 Cashel Road, Macosquin, Coleraine, Co L’derry, N Ireland, BT51 4NU
Tel/Fax 028 703 43419 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Agriculture Committee at Stormont, Farmers for Action, Farmgate prices for staples, Lisbon Treaty, Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister, Northern Ireland Livestock Auctioneer Associations, Northern Ireland politicians, Scotland, Scottish National Party, Westminster government, William Taylor FFA