Report waving in the new age of collaboration

Myles Bremner - 09 February 2011

Myles Bremner: I thought the last session the best of the day – getting right stuck into some of the SA thorniest issues – is it pro or anti Supermarket, pro or anti meat and dairy?  Ah, if only the issues were so simple as the panellists and answers from the floor responded. 

One thing that wasn’t really mentioned was the skills issue around the availability of labour for the agricultural and horticultural sector – where does all the labour for the Riverford farm network come from I wonder – is it as regional as the produce, or is there still a necessity to use transient immigrant labour like the rest of the sector? 
No mention about the tragic decision to shut Horticultural Research Institute at Wellsbourne or indeed what applied research is actually going to look like in the future.

Anyway, good to see the report waving between the two Peters during the first session. It must be this new tempered, collaborative approach Helen was talking about.  And my mind wandered thinking about what the ‘community Syngenta allotment’ looks like – the first triple oxymoron I think I’ve come across…

It might be useful to remember that Caroline Spelman was the shadow Communities and Local Government Minister before becoming DEFRA Sec of State.  So her comments in the video about empowering and encouraging local food enterprises must be highlighted – and how she said this must be done through the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.  To me her comments were as much about the role of local food systems supporting the economic environment rather (or maybe as well as) than health or environmental well-being.  Looking forward to that debate over supper.

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John Walker
09 February 2011 19:57

Thanks for blogging Myles. Please can you expand on what the 'community Syngenta allotment' stuff is all about? It sounds absolutely terrifying but not at all unexpected if it has any truth to it. Let's hope not. Something Garden Organic should definitely be priming its cannons for if that kind of appropriation of gardening gets underway...

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