Sir: Current thinking on food seems to be based on the premise that food must cost less and less. This has led to: intensive farming, with all its environmental destruction and rural depopulation; ever more supermarkets, destroying village centres and community; the Common Agricultural Policy, with all its distortions of economic reality. And this, when spending on food is already down to only 11 per cent of incomes in Europe. Even in the current CAP reforms, yet further reduction in food costs is cited as an aim.
Yet food, clothing and shelter are the cardinal requirements for life. Only when these are satisfied can any surplus be applied to education, health, cultural life etc. Ask any Third World country. Europeans should regard it as normal to spend say 20-25 per cent of income on food. That could meet the real costs of its production.
NICHOLAS G WRIGLEY