FFA(NI) organiser: rethink international ‘food-swaps’ which are turbo-charging climate change

Posted: May 10, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Some time ago Gordon Davidson reported that Farmers for Action’s Northern Irish organiser William Taylor took the EC DG Agri unit head to task over long-distance ‘food swap’ deals that seemed at odds with commitments to cut carbon emissions.

William Taylor, Northern Ireland co-ordinator of Farmers For Action (centre)

When European Commission DG Agri unit head for African, Caribbean and Pacific relations, Willi Schulz-Greve, attended the  Balmoral Show to answer farmers’ questions, Mr Taylor challenged him over long-distance ‘food swap’ deals that seemed at odds with commitments to cut carbon emissions.

William Taylor, in a 2020 blog, added that this government must be held to account about the carbon footprint caused by importing food products we don’t need from the US and other countries around the world. Instead all the food produced by UK farmers should be used before importing any shortfall from the nearest neighbour. 

He deplored the export of lamb, in which the UK is self-sufficient, as being “purely for corporate gain, with absolutely no benefit to farmers or consumers in either country”.

The key in all these climate-destructive food swaps is that they benefit profiteering corporate food retailers, corporate food wholesalers, corporate shipping companies and to a lesser extend corporate food processors and not the thousands of farming families or the environment in either food swap country.

“We have UK ships leaving for France and North Africa with lamb cargoes meeting New Zealand ships inbound to the UK

“In the case of lamb where the UK is self-sufficient, the nonsense of exporting 38% of lamb to France and North Africa only to meet ships coming from Australia and New Zealand loaded with lamb must end!

“This is turbo-charging climate change and clearly either the UK’s or the EU’s free trade deals present and future are nonsense or their climate change policy and agreements are nonsense – the two can never sit together legally or from a commonsense point of view.

“It is time for Boris Johnson and his government to wake up and realise that climate change is no respecter of majority governments and will only respond to a change of human activity on a global scale – and so far this is not happening”.

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