23rd July 2021


Rural Rap

A KENT EGG PRODUCER HAS GONE PUBLIC WITH DETAILS OF A £1M CLAIM AGAINST PACKER FRIDAY, reports The Telegraph and Farming UK.  Doug Wanstall, a free-range egg producer, is seeking damages in the High Court from Fridays of between £500,000 and £1 million amid claims that Fridays helped spread the salmonella outbreak through contaminated egg trays.  Fridays denies the claims and insists that food safety has always been its highest priority.  Wanstall was supplying the packer from his 14 farms and more than 250,000 layers.  After four separate farms (two of which were his) were found to have salmonella over a four year period, Wanstall claims that Friday’s egg packing plant was the common link.   Fridays packs ten million eggs a week and has revenues of about £50m a year.

A BID HAS BEEN LAUNCHED TO MAKE CHANGES AT A 715-ACRE NATURE RESERVE TO ATTRACT RARE SPECIES AND HEIGHTEN BREEDING, reports the Kent Messenger.  It is hoped that the modifications at Seasalter Levels, between Whistable and Faversham, will pave the way for public access to eventually be introduced at the sprawling site.  The RSPB has submitted its plants to Canterbury City Council as it attempts to boost the habitat offering by installing more islands, fences, gates, crossing points and cattle handling facilities. The site is one of the UK’s prime spots to see the curlew.  It is hoped that the proposed changes will help mammals such as the water vole to flourish.

MACKNADE IS TO PLAY HOST TO THE PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL CHERRY AND SOFT FRUIT SHOW THIS WEEKEND, reports Produced in Kent.  The event, normally held at the Kent Show, attracts entries from across the UK and provides the opportunity for the nation’s growers to showcase the superb variety and quality of soft and stone fruit the country has to offer.  Macknade’s Faversham store will host the judging and display the fruit.  The fruit will be displayed for sale on Saturday 24th, with 50% of the proceeds going directly to FoodLoop, an initiative which aims to reduce and reuse unnecessary food waste.

ALMOST TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE WERE KILLED ON FARMS IN ENGLAND, WALES AND SCOTLAND COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS YEAR, reports Farming UK.  A total of 41 people in Britain were killed, including two children and seven members of the public.  HSE said that the causes of farming accidents and incidents were “well known. When we investigate life-changing farm workplace incidents, we find, time and time again, that risks are not being removed or managed.”  The Farm Safety Foundation described the HSE report as a “desperately disappointing read with some very sober statistics…the fact that farming has a fatality rate almost 20x the GB average is shocking and shameful.”

STRESS AND FATIGUE HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A KEY CAUSE OF AGRICULTURAL ACCIDENTS IN THE UK, reports Farming UK.  The study found that lapses in situation awareness, related to stress and fatigue, were a main contributory factor in farming accidents.  The research shoed that situation awareness lapses were present in all accidents and incidents reported, and that many lapses occurred at the “perception” level, such as a failure to notice something.

GRAIN HARVEST FORECASTS POINT TO A RETURN TO NEAR-AVERAGE YIELDS AFTER LAST YEAR’S RECORD LOWS, reports Farmers Weekly.  But changeable weather has causes regional variation.  The wheat crop could hit 14.92m tonnes this year – 55% higher than last year which was hit by heavy rain in the autumn and an extended dry spell in the spring.  However, agri specialists have urged caution, noting that while the crop condition appears good generally, the extent of septoria in the crop could have a greater effect than in previous years.


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

To receive the Rural Rap direct to your inbox please contact info@ruralplc.com