23rd September 2021


Rural Rap

FRAZER THOMPSON IS TO RETIRE AS CEO OF CHAPEL DOWN, reports the Kent Messenger.  He has led the Tenterden-based wine producer for the last 20 years.  He is to be replaced by Andrew Carter who was, until recently, MD of Chase Distillery and has held senior roles at Bacardi, Treasury Wine Estates and Bulmers.  Chapel Down has recently been named the best produce of English wine in the country.

WEALD OF KENT YFC HAVE BEEN NAMED RUNNERS UP IN THE NATIONAL YFC ACHIEVER AWARDS.  The national recognition is for their farm safety project, Growing Safer Farmers.  The club successfully applied for funding from the David Friday Memorial Fund.  Since then many members have received accredited training on tractors, ATVs, chainsaws and First Aid.  The club has also delivered the Yellow Wellies Farm Safety training from the Farm Safety Foundation, and organised a fun evening where members learnt to use the What3Words app, which could be used to direct help to an accident very precisely.

CO2 SUPPLIES SHOULD START TO FLOW AGAIN SOON AS THE GOVERNMENT UNDERWRITES ITS PRODUCTION, reports the mainstream and farming press.  Production will resume at one of CF’s two fertiliser sites, meaning widespread food shortages are now unlikely.  CF Industries has been handed temporary financial support to get operations underway again – it had closed after rocketing wholesale gas prices made it uneconomic.  CO2 is used to stun and kill animals, as well as cool critical nuclear reactors and keep medicine cold.

THE ONGOING SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS SHOW THAT GOVERNMENT PLANS TO PAY FARMERS MERELY AS CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND NEED A RE-THINK, argues Alice Thomson in the Times.  As the supply chain is threatened on all sides – by CO2 shortages, driver shortages, and labour shortages, as well as the increased precariousness of the just-in-time import routes, we are being “forced to confront the contorted, complicated way that food arrives in our kitchens.”  This comes just as Britain is on the brink of a food revolution, as the UK shifts from CAP to a “public money for public goods” approach.  But Britain, she argues, still needs to produce food as well as protecting wildlife.  But this will only work if supermarkets play their part and back British farmers rather than squeezing them until they quit.

TWELVE ORGANISATIONS HAVE WARNED THAT THE UK’S FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN IS ON A KNIFE EDGE, reports Farming UK.  The unprecedented workforce shortage has led the sector to write to the PM asking him to implement a Covid Recovery Visa to alleviate the situation.  They have also called for the MAC to review the impact of ending free movement on the food and farming sector, in the same way that it is doing for adult social care.  This follows an emergency roundtable convened by the NFU earlier this week.  The meeting discussed the crisis, which has left supermarket shelves empty and food left on farms.

A TRAVEL QUARANTINE EXEMPTION HAS BEEN GRANTED FOR SEASONAL POULTRY WORKERS, reports Farming UK.  Seasonal poultry workers arriving in England may now work at their designated farm or processing plant during the quarantine period.  This exemption, which stipulates that outside of working and travelling to work, workers must self-isolate in line with quarantine restrictions, came into force on Wednesday.


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

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