Up for Grabs

Up for Grabs

NFU Say "Brexit offers the Government the opportunity to Back British farming and improve the country’s food sustainability" at the British Science Festival. NFU Deputy President Minette Batters stressed the important role British farmers can play in securing our domestic food supply for the future, in a debate on food sustainability.
Spoof Brexit Shop opens up. The “Costupper” store in Peckham High Street has opened by the People’s Vote campaign, which claims the average household will be paying £546 more per year for goods due to a fall in sterling. The campaigners also claim products will be of a poorer quality post-Brexit, meaning it has "stocked" items such as hormone injected beef and wilted flowers.

Four Hot Potatoes

Sustain's report spells out four food Brexit issues which will hit the stands in 2018. "They illustrate why politics, finance and food are being increasingly entangled, and why a new vision, policies and partnerships are needed."
The four are:What’s going to happen to food prices? Will robots take over or will crops be rotting in the fields? What will happen to farm subsidies? Food standards: More than just chlorine-washed chicken See Trump & Trade
Bittersweet Brexit deals in detail in these issues :Food prices will continue to rise for two main reasons. 1. Our pound devalued after the vote, and was propped up by another £60b (BILLION!) given to bankers in Quantitative Easing - they (but only they) can pick the rich harvest from Magic Money Trees found in a secret orchard in the City of London. None was given to farm or food workers.2 We miss out on Single Market and Customs Union and have to pay more for checks either tariff checks if we come out of the Customs Union, or non-tariff checks (for phytosanitary purposes) if we come out of the Single Market.
The subsidies should go to paying labour a living wage Standards are much more complex than chlorinated chicken and extend to hormone pumped beef, ractomine pigs, hygiene standards of production and many more. The best guarantee is to stay in the Single Market, as it does not make economic sense for farm and food producers to improve their standards of production, unless there is a lucrative market to sell into. It is called the EU Single Market.
But one thing is sure - there will be major changes and it is all 'up for grabs'. Join in the fight for better food.
Robots
Robots won't take over cheap labour as it is too expensive - especially in times of risk. investment in technology always goes where best returns.
Strawberry picking machine is a few years away Soft fruit "Produce requires a lighter touch, and berries, in particular, are damn near impossible to pick robotically.
"Harvest CROO prototype—a big, hulking thing, like a pontoon boat on wheels—inches over eight rows of strawberries at a time. As the beds pass beneath, 16 robotic arms attached to a single chassis spin and whir to lift the leaves off the plant, take photos of the berry, and with a plastic clamp, pluck the red ones off the stem. Then, internally, the machine loads the fruit into plastic clamshell containers with a packing capacity of 1,000 pounds.Think of the old Terminator movies, with the robots spinning around and picking things out, It is 3 years away from commercial launch in the USA.
The main thrust of the book is to increase local food sourcing. This can achieve a number of positives, including reducing the amount of food imports..costing £66Billion.
An oft quoted example of this approach is Preston, here in Lancashire. Preston is modeling itself on the recovery of Cleveland in the USA. Preston city council has spent an additional £4m locally from 14% of its budget in 2012 to 28% in 2016. I am involved with an organisation called the LARDER (Lancs & Region Dietary Education Resource). For more, see 'What we can do'