Cost pressures are causing headaches for us all!
I’m sure you don’t need me telling you that costs are currently spiraling out of control. We’re all facing huge rises in vehicle fuel and home energy costs at the minute and things don’t look like they will be changing anytime soon. It may seem a bit glib to be complaining about ‘only’ energy costs rising when there is currently so much turmoil in many parts of the world, however it’s starting to have a direct effect on many of our everyday decisions.
As a small organic farm business, growing vegetables, fruit and livestock in the cold, windswept, heavy clay of Longframlington, we are up against it at the best of times and operate on tiny margins so when our diesel costs are up 50%, electricity by 250%, animal feed and bedding up 40% and everything else by some smaller increase but a still hard to swallow amount, we really do have to tighten our belts to the limit.
This means all of us working here under more pressure to preform efficiently, delaying or giving up on any additional expense or products which have been nice to offer such as milk that which on current order levels, gives us no return after the cost of transport and instead doing more of the ‘other’ work we do to subsidise the business of growing and delivering local, organic food such as the Airbnb stays, workshops, construction and fabrication.
The government funds most farms in the U.K. with annual subsidy payments which often help keep the cost of food artificially low, great for short term, vote grabbing governments and the consumer today but not a long term solution to the problem of people not paying what it costs to actually produce good quality food, locally, using a local labour force that is paid above the minimum wage.
In the past a much larger percentage of household income was spent on food and we may return to this, and whilst, of course, nobody is thankful of the cost of living crisis or the war in Ukraine, if I can see one silver lining it is that we may become more self sufficient as a nation in producing both good quality food and renewable, clean energy; respecting the power of those things that can give us true freedom and democracy and not leave us at the whim of the global stock markets, fascist dictators or criminal regimes.
At the minute you will see no difference in the cost of our organic boxes, vegetables and dry goods in the shop, however we have decided to raise the cost of eggs by 25p to £2.75/6 in the shop and on our extras list from today, we unfortunately have to drop the milk and cream from our extras list and the shop from 1st June.
We would love to continue to support both Acorn and Bays Leap Organic dairies as we not only love what they stand for, but we also use their products and really do not want to go back to supermarket milk ourselves, however currently, it’s now unviable for us to collect for a small amount each week.
Many thanks for all your continued support.