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I downloaded this a few weeks back from the Bay,its a good documentary.

I also have "King Corn" and "Our daily bread".
 

hedgerow pete 

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it makes you wonder how safe our food suppliers are if one of these companys muck up how far away are we from stavation. I realy hate the american ideas of singluar mono cropping but it is the most effective way of farming, but one day the bug or dieade will just wipe it out
 

victor meldrew 

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The 1930s depression was initiated somewhat by such a disaster :(.
The prairies were ploughed up ,the rich soil was used to to grow abundant crops of cereals , for some years the farmers had it good (very good), This over worked soil became almost sand like in consistency . THEN DISASTER STRUCK, A huge storm arrived and literally blow the top soil off 90% of the over tilled land ,for hundreds of square miles .
The cinemas for the next couple of decades featured films depicting the hardships suffered by the farming community and the collapse of land prices, bankrupt ,broken families etc.
Still we never learn :(.

John Wilkinson
 

tonybloke 

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and the russians did the same a few yrs later!!
 

Brosville 

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and given half a chance, the major agrochemical and GM brigades will do it again, over vast tracts of the earth...........:svengo:
 

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Whats the answer Brosville?

It seems to me that Capitalism does not work due to the greed of shareholders/owners yet Russia has also shown that communism does not work either.

Who and How do we run the planet ?
 

Hivemaker. 

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roche 

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Benign despots seem to run the best countries.
 

Brosville 

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Well........ I don't know what the political answer is, but if we're to stand a snowball's chance in hell of surviving as a species, we have to grasp several nettles, and fast........... overpopulation is no1 - as Prof Bartlett proves, we have to control it sometime -the sooner we do it, the less it hurts - then we have to wrest power from the major international companies that are the ones who really govern us, and look at truly sustainable ways of proceeding.
There ARE glimmers of hope - permaculture can provide yields per acre of twice that achievable with fossil fuel powered chemical farming, and it increases the land's fertility - we need the political will to encourage that sort of initiative, and we have to change our energy-profligate ways.
I know by now that there is no point in "going on" about this, my pet subject - people tire of it fast, but I honestly believe that we should look forward to a far better and more fulfilling life, it IS possible to do without being planet-wrecking energy guzzlers, and it could well be loads more fun...........
 

hedgerow pete 

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Brosville thats no hell of a rant i was well impressed, beats mine hands down, the sentence nail and head spring to mind , the biggest worry for me is so much is controlled by 10 large firms and they also control the people, forget the governments they just screww us for taxs and send soldiers to there death just to help prop up a corrupt government, when you look at the simple thing say milk we as a country are now dependant on imports, all because tescos have sold it so cheap that no farmer can make it pay to produce they all just surrvive with this stupid notion that things will get better, some times you wonder if the sheep are in the farm house and not the fields, that goes with the public aswell
 

victor meldrew 

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Too easy for Too long = Too Soft !!

John Wilkinson
 

tonybloke 

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most of those who moan about tesco actually carry a tesco loyalty card!!
(never been in one of their shops, btw)
 

thurrock bees 

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most of those who moan about tesco actually carry a tesco loyalty card!!
(never been in one of their shops, btw)
agree, they moan about tesco then SHOP there, i wont go there as they treat their delivery drivers bad ( i were one) 8 hours waiting to unload, with just choc machine and coffee machine for lunch. :puke:



just watched it, And i wonder how many of those systems are working over here?? i grow my own veg, have chickens to produce eggs, and ofcourse bees, what else can i do?????
 
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lazybee 

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Say what you like about French farmers, but they don't sit back and watch while the supermarkets drive them under.


"France's milk producers have launched country-wide protests against low prices and to demand government help.


Producers believe prices paid for milk by butter and cheese makers are too low.

The government has met one of their demands by naming a mediator to facilitate talks on ending the price dispute.

Some producers brought their cows and tractors to protests in front of government buildings, including in cities and towns in Brittany, the Loire Valley and Alsace.

Most protests have been peaceful, but some producers have poured milk on the streets and burned tyres"

They are paid 15p per litre and comsumers buy it for 75p per litre.

Here in France the public is 100% behind the farmers.
 

hedgerow pete 

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that would never happen in england there main reasons are that 99% of all farmers are idiots and wont get off there tractot seats and secondly the general public does not have any idea what a farmer does, farmers have disengaged completly from the public arena and as such shot the selves in the backside big time. dont go down the route of farmers markets as they only repesent a very small part of the industry, and a lot of the market leaders/ drivers inventers are new farmers rather than old farmers , so if you realy want to change the industry. get all the old farmers that still do things the old way and stick them in a fielda and shoot them all. get rid of all the apathetic morons get fresh blood into farming.

whether you do massive co ops or not, tesco's still wont deal with you. if you dont sell milk to them, they will fly it in from africa evan cheaper then before , its the whole strangle hold on the market these people have that needs to be broken down
 
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that would never happen in england there main reasons are that 99% of all farmers are idiots and wont get off there tractot seats
Farmers are not idiots Pete, and you'll take that statement back if you don't mind. The vast majority are extremly hard working and very commited custodians of the countryside. Their income is a joke if you compare the financial commitment in their land and machinery, like for like with those in the city.

and secondly the general public does not have any idea what a farmer does, farmers have disengaged completly from the public arena and as such shot the selves in the backside big time.
Surely that's not the farmers fault, they are there doing their work 16 hours a day, it's the general public who have disengaged themselves from the countryside...................well the countryside which produces the food that is, they all love a walk in the park or demand their rights to walk across privately owned land.

dont go down the route of farmers markets as they only repesent a very small part of the industry,
Of course they do, how could someone producing 10,000 litres of milk a day sell any at a Farmer's Market? all they could do is turn up with the half dozen eggs their chickens have laid.

and a lot of the market leaders/ drivers inventers are new farmers rather than old farmers , so if you realy want to change the industry. get all the old farmers that still do things the old way and stick them in a fielda and shoot them all. get rid of all the apathetic morons get fresh blood into farming.
It's time you went onto a proper farm Pete and looked at the average age of a farmer or his staff. In 10 years time they will all be gone anyway so there's no need to shoot them. What exactly are you going to replace them with? You won't get young people, the hours are too long, the commitment too great and the financial rewards too little. There may be a few young dynamic ones around, but if you looked properly you would find that the old ones are there with the new ideas just as much, and in any case government legsislation and financial constraints ensure that only the strongest and most commited have survived this last 10 years.

whether you do massive co ops or not, tesco's still wont deal with you. if you dont sell milk to them,
Whilst not condoning the supermarkets past actions here, they are trying to put things right and offering locally produced milk and contracts to suit a wider range of producers, not just Tesco but Waitrose, Asda and others too.

they will fly it in from africa evan cheaper then before,
I'll take this one as tongue in cheek, Eastern Europe is the place where cheap milk comes from, the unfortunate fact of life is if there is a shortage milk will be imported, the production methods and animal welfare standards are well below ours - even in Eire which is supposd to be the same as us
its the whole strangle hold on the market these people have that needs to be broken down
You do have a point here, but milk production/distribution (for example) has always been controlled. Up until the Second World War, this country (being part of the Commonwealth) a lot of out food was imported, which is why Hitler managed to put such a stranglehold on our food supplies. After the war, the government set up the Milk Marketing board and all milk produced was sold to them, at the time it was for farmers a license to print money. But it encouraged more efficient production and the breeding of better cows. Then a cow produced 5 - 10 lites of milk twice a day, 30 litres twice a day is not uncommon now, the same cow who still eats and sh*ts. The milk marketing board was eventually disbanded and a more open market place set up, but quotas were introduced as we were hopelessly over producing.

Farmers have consistently, since the Second World War worked hard at producing enough food for us, enough and more, they've grafted, upgraded constantly to keep up with demand and all we can do it kick them in the teeth and call them idiots for doing exactly what has been asked of them by successive governments. They don't overspray their fields with toxic chemicals, nor set the wrong seed at the wrong time of year, nor are they walking round with a bit of straw in their teeth going "doh". They are commited intelligent individuals who deserve better, and they deserve our support.

Frisbee
 
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JCBrum 

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Hmmm, you must have had Three shreddied wheat this morning then, eh ? ;)
 
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Say what you like about French farmers, but they don't sit back and watch while the supermarkets drive them under.


"France's milk producers have launched country-wide protests against low prices and to demand government help.


Producers believe prices paid for milk by butter and cheese makers are too low.

The government has met one of their demands by naming a mediator to facilitate talks on ending the price dispute.

Some producers brought their cows and tractors to protests in front of government buildings, including in cities and towns in Brittany, the Loire Valley and Alsace.

Most protests have been peaceful, but some producers have poured milk on the streets and burned tyres"

They are paid 15p per litre and comsumers buy it for 75p per litre.

Here in France the public is 100% behind the farmers.
Hmmm well a slightly different set up in France, small farms have always been encouraged and the average French housewife has always had an eye on the quality of the food on her table rather than here, where cost has often been the limiting factor. French farms can afford to be smaller, France being three time the size of the UK, with a smaller proportion of population, their farmers can afford to be easier going and produce less. They are also more subsidised than in this country.

Eight or so years ago Lidl in this country reduced the bulk milk price to 14p a litre which is 4p a litre under production costs, Farmers for Action picketed their depots, I was amongst them..........result? The price was raised again and not attempted to have been lowered to that level since. Did it reach the news?..... No......
Why?...........because it was a peaceful protest, no muck was sprayed and no milk spilt on the Town Hall. French farmers reach the news because of their actions not because of the results of them.

Frisbee
 

Brosville 

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I think the poor old UK farmer is, and has been for years, caught between a rock and a hard place, and I'd actually agree with what most of what Frisbee posted - if there is to be "blame" for the parlous state of our farming, it must be laid firmly at the door of government, ministries and policies......
During WW2 we were essentially a police state, farmers had to do what they were told, plant what they were told etc. - during which time the agrochemical/fertiliser brigades got a foothold in a very cosy relationship with government, which has never slackened, and in my experience has become even stronger and more pernicious as the years have gone by..... as a small "fr'instance", 25years ago, if you wanted to "go organic", you essentially faced a system that was actually geared to actively discourage your doing so....... it was the time of grain mountains, and subsidies flowed freely (as long as you were a good boy, and used those nice chemicals), but if you decided to "go without", it took some years for the land to be deemed "clean", and you lost ALL subsidies during that period...... (this was, of course, the same time that the government was forcing sheep farmers to use organo-phosphate dips, and despite a great mountain of evidence as to it's dangers, Big Ag contined to deny it for many years, whilst the body-count mounted)
My view was, and still is that the government should at that time have given the order of the boot to the chemical brigade, and given subsidies and encouragement for farmers to go organic, so we could have become the organic breadbasket of Europe (rather than letting Germany steal a march yet again)
As I said earlier in the thread, my insights gained over recent years about things like "peak oil" and global warming mean that farmers are in for a probably even rougher time - unless government grasps the nettle of what is really happening, and legislates accordingly. One of the first major moves has to be to remove the death grip of multinational "Big Ag", geared as it is to fossil-fuel, chemicalised, frankencropping to the utter detriment of the environment and the consumers of the produce (as witness the excellent film "Food Inc")
Which brings me circuitously to the French...... in my old age, I'm warming to them and their "attitude" - for a start, they're not frightened of spending money on good food (whereas often the English will eat garbage if it's cheap enough), and they will give very short shrift to anybody or anything that will interfere with the production or enjoyment of their food - we have to emulate them to the extent that food prices MUST rise - real sustainable farming is more extensive and more labour intensive - the food is infinitely safer and better, and in time the innate fertility can be returned to the land, but to achieve it, we have to encourage farmers in all ways to return to being real farmers, and that must be financial.
I fear that if we don't take these initiatives, as the film demonstrates, and
Will Self so accurately puts it "we're toast"
 

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