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Stackyard News Dec 06

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David Cameron Acknowledges Plight of Welsh Dairy Industry

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.

David Cameron

David Cameron

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 competition.

"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 or friends.

"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.

link Wales Flies the Slow Food Flag
link 60% of dairy producers unaware of production costs
link The Dairy Event builds on success
link Milk Committee Points Way Ahead For Industry

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