Off the bottom

I was listening to Kevin Bellamy this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today, explaining why not all the British processors had trickled through the recent price gains to farmers. Although the farming community continues to be hurting badly, it is encouraging to finally be talking about price increases for a change, rather than the relentless parade of bad news. Like most things in life, dairy prices move in cycles – they go up and then down again. It looks like we are on the wheel going upward, and I am sure Müller will soon fall into line with Arla and First Milk. So, good news for farmers, but then processors will be paying more for milk, and no doubt other inputs will increase. To quote Roseanne Roseannadanna, comedienne Gilda Radner’s character from the 1970s, “It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

But overall, I predict a good two weeks ahead, no matter what the milk price does. It’s the Rio Summer Olympics after all. Despite the predictions of pollution in the water, and venues not being ready, it is going well for some and not so well for others, and it is all pretty gripping viewing. And Rio does look nice on television. I have visited Sao Paolo, and if Rio is half as welcoming as that city, people will be really enjoying themselves.

I also offer Olympic tennis as a reproof to those golf professionals who opted out of Rio 2016 due to the Zika virus (which interestingly has hit Florida now, where a lot of these pros live). Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player, cried when he crashed out at the Olympics yesterday in the men’s singles. Because the Olympics matter.

I also will argue that tennis players are on the road as much as golfers, and yet, there is no major tennis player who is not in Rio because of Zika. Indeed, the Murray brothers and the Williams sisters, arguably a set of siblings who command quite a high net worth between them all, were proudly in attendance representing their countries.

So, maybe we can get rid of golf for the next Olympics. Just a suggestion.

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