TGIFOOD

THE KAROO LAMB DEBATE: LETTER

Please don’t give farmers this extra burden

The Home of Karoo Lamb Chops, by Just-Ice on Flickr Commons

Don’t break something that works. Leave our farmers to earn an honest living selling an excellent product at prices that South Africans can afford, reader LAURA LUCAS writes.

This letter is in response to this story

I live in the Klein Karoo and see the devastation around me. Some farmers have given up counting how many sheep are dying that they were unable to sell because they were not up to standard for consumption.

Everyone is suffering during this drought which has entered its sixth year:

  • Twenty-five percent of normal crops on trees and vines;

  • No fruiting of olive trees;

  • Animals being slaughtered as there’s no veld and feed is too expensive when you have run out of working capital and you have your back to the wall.

What is truly going to be achieved by this certification? This is not Europe with sophisticated diners. The farmers’ costs, even under normal conditions, are high, and puts the farmer’s produce out of the reach of many South Africans.

Please do not put this extra burden on the farmer. It is a ruse to provide jobs for non-farmers with a snobbish attitude who consider themselves so much smarter than the average farmer and country dweller.

Anyone can taste the difference between Karoo lamb and non Karoo lamb and once bitten, twice shy – you just don’t buy from that merchant the next time.

Don’t break something that works. Leave our farmers to earn an honest living selling an excellent product at prices that South Africans can afford.

Just take a look at the ostrich meat industry which is so regulated nowadays that most South Africans view it as a luxury. DM

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