FOOD COLUMN: ‘TB testing a stressful time for all’

by Barbara Cossins

IT’S been a long week on the family farm as the dreaded TB testing has been taking place again. It’s so stressful, not only for the animals, but for the family and loyal staff as well. It was a disaster this time with two TB reactors and eight animals that need re-testing, which means we are still closed down.

We have been under TB restrictions now for many months and need two clear tests before we can move forward with our animals. We need to get on and sell them to other farmers and get the best possible price from market. We want to be able to be farming as we should be and not having endless restrictions placed on cattle movement. It’s very concerning all round with prices on the farms dropping for corn, oil and milk.

The price of milk has dropped so far that it’s below the price we can produce it for, so it’s simply not profitable. I can’t see that the supermarkets have dropped their milk prices in the same way for the public – no surprise there. We can all see that dairy products on their shelves have remained roughly the same price as before. If the benefits are not being passed onto the public, then why should we show loyalty to a multi-million-pound supermarket chain?

Instead, please find out where your local farmer is with their own milk vending machine and support them straight from the farm gate whenever you can. Much better for everyone and wonderful milk, too.

It was Great British Beef Week recently but to be honest we celebrate British beef every day here at Rawston Farm. It’s a fact that British farmers produce the best beef and some of the best meat in the world. Our country has some of the best lush grass to feed our herds on, and they are mostly reared outside all year round with no antibiotics or growth hormones used. Always buy British meat if you can and make sure you check the labels properly so that you’re getting what you expected.

I hope when you’re reading this article, we will be enjoying some good weather and sitting in our gar-dens with a glass of something cold. May is officially the start of summer, the flowers are blooming, and you can begin entertaining your friends and family and sharing food with each other, enjoying barbecues, seasonal salads and vegetables. A fabulous thought.

Just sharing a lovely local cheese board with a good chutney, crackers and biscuits with a glass of wine is my idea of heaven.

Finally, remember that it’s Open Farm Sunday on June 11, so find out where the nearest one is to you and go. It’s a fantastic and free family day out so please support your local farmers by showing up.

Barbara Cossins is founder of Love Local Trust Local;;;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *