Letter: Farmers' futures

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The Independent Culture
Sir: There is a way to satisfy both sides of the debate on whether agriculture is a business or a trust for the future (letters, 7 January).

Farmers should bypass the supermarket system and set up their own trading arm to sell goods direct to the public, rather like Traidcraft does for Third World products. The National Farmers' Union could organise it.

Those people who think farmers are altruistic hard-working custodians of our countryside would be able to pay direct and see their money going straight to the producer, supporting the environment and the rural economy.

Those who think that farmers are a bunch of whingeing pesticide-happy subsidy-junkies would be free to buy cheaper and better quality food from more efficient overseas producers.

Everybody wins.