On some of the bitterly cold days before Christmas we were busy loading our potatoes out of store to send to McCains.
At this time of year, it’s a race to see who can bag the job of driving the telehandler, with its nice, warm, heated cab, as opposed to the forklift.
In among the potatoes, we also had our annual Red Tractor inspection, something which nobody looks forward to, but at least we got it out of the way before Christmas arrived.
While we fully support the Red Tractor scheme, I do feel that there needs to be more common sense applied by the inspectors when carrying out their tasks, which is something I will be raising with the relevant people.
We faced a particular issue which could have been easily resolved on the day, but instead resulted in a lot of unnecessary hassle and a return visit. From what I hear, we are not the only ones to have had this experience.
As with all inspection schemes there surely needs to be an element of working in cooperation with the farmer to resolve an issue. Common sense would suggest that this is the best solution and it would save everyone a lot of time and money, not to mention carbon emissions.
The production of the Farming’s Northern Powerhouse booklet provides an invaluable tool to use when speaking to local authorities and MPs.
I’ve used it on a variety of occasions recently in meetings (handily dropping in the fact that the region produces enough milk annually for 77 billion cups of tea while stood making a coffee) and when replying to emails.
To have a booklet with case studies and facts and figures illustrating the value of agriculture in the North West easily to hand is very useful, and if you haven’t got a copy, then please contact the NFU regional office and request one.