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Buy British – how many times do we need to say it?

Would you pay more to avoid E Coli – of course. So the message is clear.

Hats of to the National Farmers Union which is shouting the message from the roof tops that British produce is safe and nutritious. The message follows the out break of E Coli in northern Europe.

British cucumbers, for example, are World class and are in abundant supply. In addition, consumers can look for the red tractor logo on the fruit and vegetables they buy, which will tell them that the food has been grown by professional growers on well managed farms that have been independently vetted on standards of hygiene and safety and where environmental concerns have been taken into account. The Union Jack logo tells shoppers that the food is grown here in Blighty.

But shoppers should be wary, because the ban by Russia on cucumbers, from other EU countries, has resulted in cancelled orders meaning that they could flood the British market. These cucumbers are likely to be cheap but may be not so cheerful. And the immorality of the situation is that these cheap imports may put pressure on our own farmers. We need to raise two discerning fingers to this. We have a choice and we should buy British.

The NFU has contacted all major British retailers asking them to back British growers and pay a price which reflects the quality of the produce grown here. So far, it would seem that the majors are behaving reasonably by not using the unfortunate events in Europe to force prices down to British growers. And growers need the right prices, because cucumbers are a high cost crop to produce and there are already small margins, which means there is little surplus enough to absorb any losses. The NFU will be monitoring the situation.

We would all agree that it is important to have available an abundant supply of fresh and nutritious produce in which we can have faith in its safety.

So buy British – it’s easy. You may have to part with a little more cash, but you get what you pay for. Perhaps we should ask ourselves that if we pay less is there a chance of getting an unwanted extra?

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