Host Sally Hall, who is based in Wales, wrote to us in September in response to our news from the office item about insurance, in the autumn issue of WWOOF UK News. We always welcome our members’ feedback and asked Sally if we could reproduce her thoughts here.
WWOOF is a fantastic organisation and stands for much of what I believe in – a sustainable way forward for farming. I really enjoyed the latest (autumn 2017) edition of the newsletter. The inspiring and really interesting pieces on mob grazing and Crossing really represent what I believed WWOOFing is helping to achieve – protecting the environment and our precious flora and fauna.
However, I was extremely disappointed to hear about your meeting with an NFU rep and your promotion of its insurance products. This is a very wealthy English agribusiness lobby group which is NOT a union for the majority of farmers. For some reason which is difficult to determine, the NFU has always had immense political power – despite it being a minority group (little more than 15% of farmers are actually members) and it is not even democratically elected.
It has been instrumental in intensifying farming, with the subsequent welfare and sustainability issues. It does little to promote sustainability and is publicly very economical with the truth when making public statements, for example, the current badger cull in the news this week (Sally wrote to us in early September 2017); it is the NFU that is pushing this forward and with the continued culling in the pilot areas and its likely spread to other areas in the UK we may well see some areas of the UK lose their badger populations.
Back in 2013 George Monbiot stated, ‘The National Farmers’ Union secures so much public cash yet gives nothing back.’ ‘The NFU’s grip on agricultural policy helps enrich millionaire landowners while destroying biodiversity, polluting water and wiping out pollinators.’ I would agree. See also this ethical consumer’s article.
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