THE PENNY HAS DROPPED!
On Radio 4 Today programme, Tesco's Philip Clarke announced "the company is bringing meat production closer to home." NFU President, Peter Kendall, at the NFU Conference said "if there's one single message that's come from the horsemeat scandal, it's that consumers want to know where their food comes from as close to home as possible." While the penny, at last, has dropped, one asks at what price?
Home for Levels' Best is the Somerset Levels and Moors. Consumers have bought pork, lamb, chicken and beef direct from farms, traditional butchers or the farmer's market as close to their home as possible, in full knowledge that hey have been reared within the grassy landscape on their doorstep.
With this change of direction from supermarkers, safeguards need to be in place to ensure that what Peter Kendall described as "damaging downward pressure on prices" isn't transferred on to the farms that are closer to home. Market forces should drive demand and demand should uphold fair prices so that consumers can rest assured that their food really does come from as close to home as possible.
ANTIDOTE TO HORSE MEAT SCANDAL
It is the length and complexity of trans-national food chains, clocking up unbelievably high food miles in the 'horse meat saga' (not to mention the horror given our nations' respect for these mighty animals) that is so costly and uncontrollable, leaving room for all the 'middle men' to make profit at the consumers expense. What's more, consumers have shouldered this cost unwittingly bar their wish to purchase ever cheaper foods.
Cheap does not equate to value although supermarkets regularly use the word 'value' to elude to good value, where as the reality is less value than a product fairly produced, fairly priced and full of goodness.
The antidote to all this is to always purchase locally and know where food has come from. Products and fresh produce on this site all have guaranteed provenance and those bearing the Levels' Best logo have true added value to the environment, animal welfare and the heritage of our wonderful native breeds.
The Levels' Best farmers' market, farm shops and traditional butchers within the Somerset Levels and Moors all ensure the shortest supply to the consumers where quality does not cost the earth and consumers can rest assured that if they buy through these outlets, they are helping to keep it that way.