'Act now on threat to farms'

PUBLISHED: 17:25 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:19 28 March 2014

JANUARY 2008: The rising cost of animal feed due to poor global harvests and growing
competition from bio-fuels means that many farmers are being forced to
sell their livestock at a loss, it is claimed.

A Taste of Sussex, the food and drink

division of Sussex Enterprise, believes that we must act now in order

to prevent our local farmers from going out of business.

“Centuries of

farming have produced the Sussex landscape that we all know and love,”

said Hilary Knight, co-ordinator of A Taste of Sussex. “The

contribution of agriculture to the local economy may have decreased

over time but nevertheless, farmers still play a significant role in

maintaining the security of our food supplies, to the countryside, the

environment and the fabric of rural life."

Like many parts of the UK, the number of livestock bred in Sussex has

been on a gentle, but steady, decline for at least the past three

years. The industry has suffered several bad years in succession and

looks unlikely to recover unless increased costs are passed on to the

consumer. Whilst there are many things that can be done to increase

efficiency, nothing can be done to reduce feed costs.

BPEX (the British Pig Executive) has recently launched a very high

profile media campaign to highlight the fact that the increase required

by Pig farmers to stay in business in between 7p and 17p more per pack

of bacon, pork, sausages and ham.

The problem facing the lamb and beef

industries are similar. According to a recent You Gov survey, the

British public are in general support for the price rises; 78% would be

happy to pay more, while 67% prefer home grown meat over imports.

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