Gleanings - AF Weekly news summary
30th November 2023

Here’s what caught our eyes and ears in the agri news from UK and further afield in the last week.


Petition calls for supermarkets to treat farmers fairly

Guy Singh-Watson of Riverford farms has started a petition calling on supermarkets to treat farmers fairly. The petition calls for the following five principles to be committed to and maintained:

  1. Buy what you committed to buy
  2. Pay on time
  3. Commit for the long term
  4. Agree to fair specifications
  5. Pay what you agreed to pay


Nothing too revolutionary here but, as we all know, these basic tenets of doing business fairly can seem too often overlooked by supermarkets and their buyers.

Find out more and sign the petition.


Back to Troy

We reported in Gleanings on 18th October that there’s a preponderance of ex-food industry leaders running what are nominally farming organisations.

We reported then that the outgoing CEO of AHDB Tim Rycroft was previously employed by the Food and Drink Federation. Terry Jones, Director General (not CEO) of the NFU was previously at the FDF and the Provision Trade Federation, David Webster is the new CEO at LEAF joining after his role with the UK Grocery Division of Associated British Foods (ABF) where he was Director of Sustainability and External Affairs and Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor was previously MD of General Mills and Director General and President of the FDF.

It is impossible to believe that there is nobody willing to do these jobs from ‘inside’ agriculture. No academic, no innovator, no (whisper it) farmer could be found with requisite skills and enthusiasm?

Now, AHDB has announced Graham Wilkinson as their new CEO, appointed direct from his last job as Global Vice President of Arla Foods.


Swine flu case reported

The UK has seen its first human case of H1N2, a strain of swine flu which has only been identified in 50 people worldwide since 2005.

The Guardian reported that: “The case was discovered as part of routine national flu surveillance undertaken by the UKHSA and the Royal College of GPs. The patient was tested by their GP on 9 November after experiencing respiratory symptoms and had a mild illness but has now recovered. They were never hospitalised and were not known to have worked with pigs. How they came to be infected remains under investigation.”


Lord Snooty cocks a snook

Jacob Rees-Mogg was interviewed about recent immigration numbers by Sarah Montague on Friday’s World at One on Radio 4. In a bold attempt at even more acute self-parody than usual, when quizzed about essential skills required in the UK, the wannabe Minister for the Late Victorian Era responded “We don’t need fruit pickers. If fruit can be grown more cheaply & more economically in foreign countries, then we should import fruit. “


 Tweet of the week