NEWS that the price paid to dairy farmers for milk has been cut again has caused further frustration, genuine anger and understandable upset.
I recently popped into the shop at my local petrol station to buy a soft drink and noticed that a bottle of Scottish spring water cost more than £1, but the pint of milk next to it only cost 50p. I had to have a second look to make sure I was reading the prices right.
Isn’t this a bit backwards? At the very least, it shows that something is fundamentally wrong with the market system that sets a price like that for our food. Are we not running into yet another case of market-driven rather than ethically-driven goods?
Food is not just another commodity to be bought and sold on the global free market; it is a gift from God and we have to treat it with more respect, not to mention paying a just price to the farmers who work to bring it to us. When retailers can sell milk at a rock-bottom price, when it is cheaper than water, then I doubt whether this can be truly sustainable, fair to the farmer, or good for creation.
In this case, both governments, at Holyrood and Westminster, must act to break the impasse that allows crude market forces to bring about this upside-down situation.
(Rev) Sally Foster- Fulton
Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland
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Monday 20 May 2013
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