The marketing director of OSC Ltd., the company behind the Ronhill running and cycling clothing brand, has written an open letter to the government asking why industries as a whole larger than the farming industry are being sacrificed because of foot and mouth disease


"As the owner/MD of an Outdoor Sports company in an industry currently experiencing a 40% drop in sales, I simply fail to understand the position of the government and large portion of the media on the Foot & mouth situation.

"Following the suggestion by the Institute of Directors at the weekend that F&M has already cost British business a loss of £20bn, with expected losses by year end to top £40bn has anyone done the sums?

"The British Meat and Milk export market was worth £1.3bn – even the most optimistic farmer must realise it will take years to recover export consumer confidence. So if we ‘tough it out’ with current policy, by 2002 we MAY save a £1bn market.

At what cost? Even if the economic cost of compensation and slaughter did not dwarf that £1bn market why are we not weighing the £40bn of lost business from tourism etc. in the balance? This is a 40:1 issue and I hear no-one rallying to our cause?

"I care about Farmers business as much as they care about mine – I am experiencing a 40% loss in sales with no compensation – what frustrates me is I simply do not understand why?

On the one side a £40bn growing industry of service, sport and tourism on the other a declining industry of £1bn.

"There may be uncertainty amongst farmers about a vaccination programme – I sympathise with the issues they face in their businesses, but in the overall picture of British economy WHY have we let this drag on so long? Vaccinate now, open the country up for business and compensate the farmers for lost exports if appropriate.

"Will someone please tell me what vested interests fail to see this logic and continue on the ‘Save Meat export at all costs’ policy that has cost my business and the country so dearly?"


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