Lynne is a Researcher at a leading Agricultural University and mother of three. Having ran a smallholding in upland Wales and scraped out a living in the English countryside as a farm labourer, she has toured around shows and festivals demonstrating the dying art of multicropping. Lynne is passionate that we meet the needs of a growing population NOT by intensifying food production but by linking the farmer back with the consumer.
“The British countryside is becoming a playground for the rich and if you are happy with that then continue as we are. If you want to look out of your window in ten years and see the rural landscape dominated with industrial sized megafarms then continue as we are”.
Lynne champions the family farmer and is happy that British wildlife is safe in their hands. Animal welfare IS animal husbandry and as farmgate prices fall the squeeze on farmers forces their hand. The result, she believes, is a tactic designed to force farmers off the land for big by-outs.
“The NFU represents large landowners in the East of England and is out of touch with the smaller farmer in the SouthWest. The 2017 budget is furthering the problem favouring large corporations over SME’s”.
Lynne calls for these giant companies including the supermarkets to become accountable. She would follow Scotland’s example and call for a living wage for the workers throughout these supply chains.
“The government is essentially subsiding wages through the Working Tax Credit. Again and again these large companies dodge taxes and how can the SME’s compete? We need at least a level playing field. These policies are designed to strangle smaller family businesses”.
The profits are directed away from Birtain’s infrastructure which is being eroded by the present government. Those who benefit are an increasingly smaller number of shareholders, often who dont even reside in this country. The NHS is under considerable pressure not just because their funding source is being siphoned away but because the race to keep up with these farmgate prices has driven farmers to use poor quality ingredients in their feeds and untested chemicals.
“Through my research at Harper Adams Agricultural University I see growing evidence that there is a link between the increase of modern disease such as diabetes, obesity, heart conditions mental health problems and cancers and the way we farm. The pressure on the health service is immense”.
“The Green Party are far removed from the farming community, often city dwellers who just see the consequences of these policies but do not understand the pressures farmers face.”
The Labour party goes to the root of these problems and addresses the rise in corporate control forcing these companies to become accountable. The country, not the shareholders, need this money to support the essential infrastructure needed in rural communities such as the long promised, but undelivered 100% broadband coverage, a robust public transport system, and essential community services such as post offices. Brexit will be the nail in the coffin for SME’s in the countryside and Labour is the champion to redress the balance.