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Hard-up farmers forced to turn to food banks for help

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

Dairy farmer
Comments (6)

Farmers are being forced to use food banks as they battle ever-increasing hardships.

As reported in yesterday's Western Morning News, atrocious weather and low prices at the farmgate have conspired to spark plunging profits for Westcountry farmers.

According to the Government's latest farm business income forecasts, a massive reduction in profitability is on the cards across the bulk of farming sectors.

Rachael Collard, manager at Launceston Food Bank located at the Newport Industrial Estate, said the charity has recently been helping farmers out for the first time.

She said: "If a farmer is suddenly hit with a big heating bill or for a repair to a piece of machinery it could wipe out money for anything else such as food.

"By nature farmers are usually very proud people so they might find it rather difficult asking for help.

"They are the ones who usually provide food for the rest of us so they find asking for food totally alien."

Ms Collard said the charity was conscious of farmers and others living in remote areas who need help.

Funds are being raised to buy a van to reach those in the most remote areas of North Cornwall.

Peter Clarke, co-ordinator of Farm Crisis Network in Cornwall, said farmers were also being helped by other charities to put food on the table.

He said: "I'm well aware of farmers using food banks to survive and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution have been giving out food parcels when they visit farms.

"Our farmers are having a really tough time of it. It's not as if farmers can go off and kill one of their livestock to eat. Because of all the red-tape, rules and regulations the animals have to go off the farm to be killed at abattoirs."

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6 comments

  • Charlespk  |  February 05 2013, 2:25PM

    Get all the small abattoirs open again. . Localism will then again return to livestock farming to the benefit of all, just as farmers' markets have benefited the smaller arable holdings.

    Rate   6
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  • trudie2010  |  February 05 2013, 2:04PM

    If we could buy meat etc directly from the farm we would have more reasonably priced decent meat, and the farmer could ask a fair price which is bound to be more than supermarkets pay them. I also wish that milk only came in glass bottles with an inch of cream on top for the cornflakes. There are so many rules and regs, but it didn't kill us years ago did it. Bloody Europe!!!!!!

    Rate   12
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  • Charlespk  |  February 05 2013, 1:42PM

    C.A.P., the brain child of those subsidised control freaks in Brussels has a lot to answer for. . Roll on the revolution!

    Rate   5
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  • toffer99  |  February 05 2013, 11:20AM

    I feel sorry for farmers in the present economic botch-up by the government nobody elected. Especially when we see supermarkets making excess profits at their expense. But the same thing happens to other small businessmen. The small garage owner or fisherman face the same problems. Do they get subsidies? Don't think so.

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  • stevepz  |  February 05 2013, 11:06AM

    Farming is dependent on subsidies. This means the price of their goods can be controlled in order for them to qualify for the subsidies. The whole system is geared up so the farms can brake even at best while all other areas of distribution and sale make huge profits. Public money goes to the farmers for the subsidies so that huge profits can go into the pockets of investors. It's a great system if your one of the investors.

    Rate   7
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  • Chopper8  |  February 05 2013, 9:44AM

    ''Peter Clarke, co-ordinator of Farm Crisis Network in Cornwall, said "Our farmers are having a really tough time of it. It's not as if farmers can go off and kill one of their livestock to eat. Because of all the red-tape, rules and regulations the animals have to go off the farm to be killed at abattoirs." '' Yes they can do exactly that! There's absolutely nothing in the regulations that says you can't slaughter animals on farm providing it's for your own consumption and I know many farmers that do this. I don't doubt for a minute that many farmers - particularly small farms - are having a tough time of it, but it doesn't exactly engender much sympathy for their cause if the man charged with promoting this issue can't even get some basic facts right.

    Rate   2
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