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Give farmers their just desserts says minister

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 19, 2012

Switching to desserts such as spotted dick with British cream will help the country's dairy farmers

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Food producers have welcomed the call to arms by a Government minister to buy more British puddings to help farmers.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who took over the rural brief two weeks ago, has warned of the need to close the "dessert deficit".

In an interview with Farmers Weekly, he said there was a "big job to be done" in boosting Britain's food exports and persuading more people in this country to eat local produce.

The minister identified desserts as a target for "import substitution", and expressed alarm at the level of imported dairy-based puddings. Dairy farmers this summer launched a series of blockades as the farmgate price of milk was slashed. Many farmers are in a parlous economic state as the cost of production is more than they are paid. Mr Paterson said: "There is a huge dessert deficit in this country. We have a huge opportunity to replace imported desserts with desserts made here."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pointed to figures revealing that Britain imported 115,000 tonnes of ice-cream last year – more than double the 50,000 exported. Yoghurt imports reached almost 150,000 tonnes – six times the 25,000 sent abroad.

Swapping desserts such as panna cotta, crème brulee and tiramisu for traditional favourites like treacle tart, apple crumble and spotted dick was welcomed by the industry.

Nicholas Rodda, managing director of Cornish clotted cream firm Rodda's, said it markets products to encourage clotted cream to be eaten with the nation's favourite dishes.

All its milk comes from 151 farms based within a 30-mile radius of its creamery in Redruth, Cornwall, he added.

Mr Rodda said: "We're delighted to see the minister coming out in support of the much-loved British pud."

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  • takeabullet4u  |  September 21 2012, 1:05PM

    These are the lovely people behind the badger cull.. ! The Conservative chief whip was threatened with arrest after allegedly telling officers they had "best learn your f------ place" and accused them of being "f------- plebs". http://tinyurl.com/92du9x6 The idea that a Cabinet minister could behave like this towards police officers doing their job is an utter disgrace. It tells you all you need to know about this out-of-touch Government and its attitude to public servants and people of Britain.

  • happygutz  |  September 19 2012, 8:07PM

    instead of wanting support all the time, why dont farmers take a business course so they can stand on their own feet! ps shoot the badgers

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  • Baby_boomer  |  September 19 2012, 4:40PM

    This idea is all well and good, but just how many farmers do their bit for the rest of the economy? How many actually drive vehicles made in the UK, buy British manufactured goods or take their holidays in the UK?

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  • dodgethebulle  |  September 19 2012, 3:50PM

    From hero to zero in a few days.. Farmers have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, they will find it hard to recover from this pr disaster! Farmers surely are their own worst enemy, they have potentially 50,000+ people and every animal protection group in the UK willing to help trap and vaccinate badgers in an effort to fight bTB. You have effectively told them all to **** off ! So don't expect the public to support you on this one ! http://tinyurl.com/bvjp9rv

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  • Charlespk  |  September 19 2012, 3:23PM

    Nice idea; but they would al have to have pasteurisation facilitates for milk and fresh cream youngcornwall? The clotted cream should be fine of course.

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  • youngcornwall  |  September 19 2012, 1:20PM

    All its milk comes from 151 farms based within a 30-mile radius of its creamery in Redruth, Cornwall, he added. And I wonder how many of these farms sell direct to the public, perhaps it is the time to go back to how things used to be, when you could go to the farm and buy a pint of milk and a ¼ of cream, the farmers should be able to undercut the supermarkets, with 151 farms in a 30 mile radius why not form a cooperative and just sell the surplus to the supermarkets, if they do not want it, do what farmers are known for, plough it back in the field or flush it down the drain, probably forming a cooperative and fending for themselves the farmers could lose out on their subsidies, and they wouldn't have that would they.

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  • Big_Ger  |  September 19 2012, 10:09AM

    I thoroughly agree with you Cheekyman. I nearly bought some asparagus the other day, but when I read the label it turns out they were from Peru! Someone at Tesco has their bl00dy priorities wrong.

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  • cheekyman_jr  |  September 19 2012, 9:30AM

    This is only a small drop in the ocean, we need to buy as much local produce (be that Cornish, British or UK), but the only way we can do this is through support from the supermarkets.

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