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Helen Harris: Farmers need fairer prices, not bland and vague political aspirations

Reality check: The proposed Programme for Government includes setting up an Ombudsman for Food to ensure fairness and equity in the food chain. "In the real world, people don't want to pay a fair price for quality food. They don't value food and they take it completely for granted," says Helen Harris.

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Reality check: The proposed Programme for Government includes setting up an Ombudsman for Food to ensure fairness and equity in the food chain.   "In the real world, people don't want to pay a fair price for quality food. They don't value food and they take it completely for granted," says Helen Harris.

Reality check: The proposed Programme for Government includes setting up an Ombudsman for Food to ensure fairness and equity in the food chain. "In the real world, people don't want to pay a fair price for quality food. They don't value food and they take it completely for granted," says Helen Harris.

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When I chat to other farmers, especially tillage farmers, about the Green Party there is usually a deep sigh before they roll their eyes to heaven. The Greens may not be the most popular with us farmers, but I do agree we need to make changes for the benefit of the planet and future generations. So, when I started to read some of the policy proposals for the next government, I thought it would be 40 shades of green, but what I read was more like 50 shades of grey. The colour, not the book. That's how bland and boring I found the Programme for Government.

The buzzword, if you will excuse the pun, is biodiversity. It was mentioned over and over again, but when I looked for actual plans everything seemed very wishy-washy - there are lots of big ideas but little substance.

Before I started reading, I was breaking out in a cold sweat thinking of all the changes they would want for us tillage farmers.