The Conservative leader, David Cameron, has acknowledged that
the difficulties forcing so many Welsh dairy farmers out of business
amount to 'a tragedy'. He was responding to a question from CLA
Wales delegates at the launch of Slow Food UK in London's Borough
Market, as to how a Conservative Government would tackle a situation
where so many producers could not make a living.
Delegate Margaret Rees is CLA Wales Carmarthenshire field officer
and also the Slow Food leader in West Wales. CLA Wales has pledged
to support the Slow Food movement.
Mr Cameron said a future Conservative Government would work to
improve labelling and marketing. It was for the Competition Commission
to address the issue of pricing.
Mr Cameron was accompanied by Zac Goldsmith who chairs the Conservative
Party's Quality of Life and Environment working group and was launching
Slow Food UK. The body campaigns for 'good, clean, and fair' food
and champions the cause of local produce in the face of multi national
"Food matters to public health, with the impact of rising
obesity on the NHS. It matters in education, with the impact of
sugary food and drink on children's behaviour and attentiveness",
he said as he urged everyone to play a part in helping to turn
our junk good society into a good food society.
"It matters in our family and community lives, as microwave
'meals for one' replace cooked meals around the table with family
"It matters to our countryside, as small local producers struggle
to compete with large multinationals. And it matters greatly to
the environment - not least because of the carbon emissions that
come from air-freighting food around the world."
Mr Cameron said that he grows his own vegetables – and had
even won village prizes! He stressed the need to value food. There
wasn't enough respect for food in the UK and it was all too often
treated like fuel and shovelled down 'any time, any place, anywhere'.
"Because this is above all a cultural issue. It's not something
that politicians can deal with just by passing laws and launching
initiatives", he added.
"Food is not just a state responsibility - it's a social responsibility.
So today I'd like to touch on some of the ways in which I think
our society can do more to create a culture which respects food.
There's a role for business, there's a role for government - and
perhaps most importantly, there's a role for each of us as individuals."
Mr Cameron concluded that if the next generation could be taught
some of the things this generation has forgotten, then society
would be investing it its future well-being in a way that would
pay great dividends for decades to come.
The Slow Food launch was also attended by founder Carlo Petrini,
who had travelled fromTurnin. It was later celebrated with a lunch
at the House of Lords, addressed by Lord Rooker.
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