I can understand the sense of freedom that those with small food business who voted to leave the EU feel today. The level of EU legislation placed on small food business can be paralysing. In my opinion that's not the EU's fault, it's ours. We allow ourselves be paralysed by this legislation. We don't feel empowered enough to question it. Nor do our legislative bodies.
The anecdotal evidence is that this is not the case with our EU friends on the continent. The evidence in Ireland is that since we have joined the EU there has been a total centralisation of food production & distribution. Case in point: where have all our small abattoirs gone?
Why is this so? I believe that it stems from a lack of self confidence in our ability to take ownership of the EU project and how we produce food. Irish food is just as good as French & Italian food, we need to start believing this.
Larger organization can deal with this burden and therefore can thrive in this legislative environment. Food legislation and more importantly its interpretation are major barriers to enabling local food systems. Think about it, growing and producing food should be the easiest form of commerce there is. At the moment it's not.
Food now lies in the hands of the few, far removed from the consumer, with layer upon layer placed between the farmer and the household. I know from speaking with small food producers in the UK that the same situation prevails, small businesses choking under red tape.
Fly free my UK friends, here's hoping it works out better for you. From my point of you we are far better off inside the common market. But let's grow some backbone and take ownership of the EU project. The EU has brought us so much, lets take control of it. The legislation is ours, we should own it.