And an extremely bad one for the rest of us as well.
The organic farmers\’ group the Soil Association objected to an application from Midland Pig Producers (MPP) for an intensive pig farm in Foston, Derbyshire, last summer, raising concerns in general terms about disease, antibiotic resistance and animal welfare in large pig herds.
OK, that\’s what they say.
For the Soil Association and many of the other objectors – 2,800 people worldwide objected to the first application – mega- farms represent precisely the opposite of a sustainable future.
They argue that the application represents a pivotal moment in which British farming is in danger of making another leap in intensification, squeezing out smaller mixed farms that they believe are more environmentally and animal friendly.
But that\’s what they mean.
Melchett has said he is happy to meet the company, but is alarmed by the way it has chosen to respond to his group\’s objections. \”It\’s the first time to my knowledge that a group like ours has been threatened for taking part in the democratic planning process, which is meant to be where citizens and those who represent different interests have the opportunity to air their case.
Quite, organic and \”small mixed farmers\” are one of those interests and the Soil Association is their representative. They\’re trying to stop this new pig farm because it will produce pork more cheaply than organic or small mixed farms can.
This is straight up use of the planning system to strangle economic competition.
Melchett is being as reactionary as any High Tory speaking in favour of the Corn Laws. In fact, the heir to the ICI fortune, the Old Etonian, landowning, third Baron Melchett is a reactionary High Tory, arguing that people should pay more for their bacon sarnies so that Old Etonian landowning peers can gouge more money out of them*.
Fuck \’im I say.
*Melchett farms beef not pork but you know what I mean.