Factory farm not the solution

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: In rebuttal to Mr. Brian Pollard’s letter” Better solutions to factory farms” I really think Mr. Pollard should read a little more slowly, digest the words, and then understand exactly what he read.

Never, ever, would I condone or approve of “Factory farming”

Rather, to reiterate a portion of the context of my letter I said “Because the consumer (Buyer of groceries) wants cheap vegetables, cheap milk and cheap meat.” — “That is why our farms and agricultural way of life is in decline” — “What option does the small farmer have, other than to cease production before / after bankruptcy”

I commend Mr. Pollard for his desire to consume “real” meat and food stuffs right from the farm. That was the essence of my letter to the editor. If the purchasers (I hesitate to say housewives) of food for the family table, bought their requirements from the farmer or at the local farmers market and / or demanded the stores they buy from sell only food stuffs from our Island farms (when in season or tropical varieties) then our smaller family farms would be flourishing. The next generation of farm children has always wanted to stay on the farm, if only they could sell their products for a fair price and earn a decent reward for their labours. But no, they must leave the industry to try and earn a living wage.

This situation is impossible, with the wholesaler and then the retailer making their huge profits, at the expense of the farmer, who receives much less than half of the dollar value paid at the farm gate. I dare you. Ask a farmer how much he gets paid for a pound of beef or pork when it leaves the farm. You cannot comprehend the $4 or more a pound differential.

The factory farm is not the “solution,” rather it is the “inevitable” result of the ignorance or apathy of the consumer to the plight of the local farmers who used to provide them with their food stuffs.

S. John Newman,


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