Meat consumption some issues!

What is the true cost of eating meat? is an interesting briefing in the ‘Guardian’ newspaper. It raises some questions and possible solutions.

Food and farming is one of the biggest economic sectors in the world. We are no longer in the 14th century, when as much as 76% of the population worked in agriculture – but farming still employs more than 26% of all workers globally. And that does not include the people who work along the meat supply chain: the slaughterers, packagers, retailers and chefs.

In 2016, the world’s meat production was estimated at 317m metric tons, and that is expected to continue to grow. Figures for the value of the global meat industry vary wildly from $90bn to as much as $741bn.

Although the number of people directly employed by farming is currently less than 2% in the UK, the food chain now includes the agribusiness companies, the retailers, and the entertainment sector. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in 2014 the food and drink manufacturing sector contributed £27bn to the economy, and employed 3.8 million people.

It is not simple to separate out the contribution that meat production makes to this – particularly globally. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation states that livestock is about 40% of the global value of agricultural output and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost a 1.3 billion people.

An influential study in 2010 of the water footprints for meat estimated that while vegetables had a footprint of about 322 litres per kg, and fruits drank up 962, meat was far more thirsty: chicken came in at 4,325l/kg, pork at 5,988l/kg, sheep/goat meat at 8,763l/kg, and beef at a stupendous 15,415l/kg. Some non-meat products were also pretty eye-watering: nuts came in at 9,063l/kg.

To put these figures into context: the planet faces growing water constraints as our freshwater reservoirs and aquifers dry up. On some estimates farming accounts for about 70% of water used in the world today, but a 2013 study found that it uses up to 92% of our freshwater, with nearly one-third of that related to animal products.

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Cornwall for sale!

It’s very easy to find adverts for building plots in Cornwall. And how many will end up meeting local need? And how many people after looking at the adverts will think of moving to Cornwall and buying a property somewhere, whether it’s an old one or new one?

Area of land with planning consent £325,000
An exciting and rare opportunity to build a new substantial two storey dwelling set in 10 acres of unspoilt countryside on the edge of Bodmin Moor in an elevated location, on the edge of Bodmin Moor just below Sharp Tor with wonderful open views to the south and East. It is rare to find a building site in the country with land and outline planning consent from Cornwall Council, Ref: PA18/0081 Decision date 28th March 2018. The site has Mains Elec ( three Phase) and bore hole water connected.

Situated on the eastern edge of Bodmin Moor, the property is easily accessible from the A30 trunk road which links Exeter with the M5 motorway at Junction 30. The property lies approximately 7 miles south of Launceston and 12 miles north west of Plymouth and 15 miles east from Padstow in beautiful unspoilt surroundings just below Sharp Taw in an elevated position with extensive views to the south and east.

Building plot Seaton £115,000
A coastal building plot with sea views and only 450 metres from the beach. About 1,500 sq ft (138 sq m) Proposed 3/4 bedroom detached house, reversed accommodation design with two south facing balcony, generous plot, 30 x 15 metres, off road parking, direct access to a network of beautiful footpaths and the Countryside Park.

Location The plot lies in an elevated position on the valley hillside, only a short walk (450 metres) from Seaton Beach, the beautiful riverside pathways of Seaton Countryside Park and the South West Coast Path, all providing boundless leisure opportunities. Parts of the neighbouring coastline are in the ownership of the National Trust. Seaton Seaton provides a popular family beach, good for dog walking and surfing, together with the neighbouring village of Downderry providing a wide range of facilities including pubs, shop, beach café, restaurant, primary school and doctors surgery. There is a bus service and the main line railway station can be accessed at St Germans. The A38 provides a quick link to the rest of Cornwall, Plymouth City Centre and beyond. The historic harbourside town of Looe lies about five miles to the west and provides further amenities. The notable sailing waters of the area are favoured by yachtsmen and deep water moorings are available at Saltash and Fowey.


Let’s move to Truro, Cornwall: it has moments of magnificence!

A piece in the ‘Guardian’ attracted our attention.

People lust after the Cornish coast, forgetting there are perfectly smashing spots like Truro a short drive from sandy coves
Where to buy Oh me oh my, some lovely homes. Great streets of sturdy stone terraces, delightful late Regency townhouses and Victorian villas. Top billing, though, goes to the gorgeous stone Georgians on Lemon Street, which morphs into Regency and Victorian villas on Falmouth Road. Look north, too, between Carvoza Road and Mitchell Hill, and Tregolls Road, and west on and off Chapel Hill. Large detacheds and townhouses, £450,000-£1m. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £250,000-£450,000. Semis, £170,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £150,000-£425,000. Flats, £450,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £575-£700pcm; a three-bedroom house, £725-£1,000pcm.

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If you have ever wondered why Cornish house prices are so high, why properties old and new get snapped up, why there is a frenzy of house building, look no further!

As well as estate agents and the tourist sector, we have ‘quality’ papers extolling the virtues of living in Cornwall.

Never mind we are busy building new houses to keep up and never mind the environmental or cultural costs!

Taking over farmland but not holiday lets?

Back in March we referred to the ‘New Frontiers’ document which sets out what Cornwall Council wants from the Government. It included a proposal to take over farmland at pretty much existing value and then develop it.

Odd that the document did not come up with proposals to allow Cornwall Council to identify holiday lets and second homes and obtain the powers necessary to acquire the properties at a small multiple of existing value to enable such properties to be used to meet housing need

Would probably annoy too many of the rich and powerful!

Extracts from the report below. The full report can be found at:

Our Ask
To work with Government to develop a pioneering new model that would allow Cornwall Council to identify and test potential new sites for garden villages and obtain the powers necessary to acquire the allocated land at a small multiple of agricultural value. This would involve revisions to compulsory purchase legislation and new planning legislation alongside associated planning policy and regulations.

Holiday lets in Hayle and St. Ives

According to the inflated target in the ‘Local Plan’ the Hayle and St. Ives area ‘needs’ 3,180 extra dwellings between 2010 and 2030. [we estimate a more realistic figure would be around 1,600 or fewer].

And how many holiday lets are there in the area?

The figures look something like this – 1,800 houses used as holiday lets; 2,660 houses and apartments used as holiday lets.

Transferring some of these properties back into permanent residential use would result in the actual number of new dwellings required to be built to be limited.

Perhaps as part of a ‘Devolution Deal’ Cornwall could ask for the relevant powers to restrict the use of dwellings for holiday lets and second homes and ensure they are used for permanent use.

Holiday lets in Cornwall

The latest analysis of the number of holiday lets in Cornwall is as follows:

Houses = 15,404
Apartments = 2,977

A total of 18,381*

Total housing stock in 2016 was estimated at 270,860.

Thats 6.8% of the total dwelling stock.

The presence of holiday homes has three effects:

1) it pushes up prices as owners can get a good return on their property
2) it pushes up rents, making it more difficult for people in the private rented sector
3) stock is removed from the residential housing sector, pushing up demands for more housing.

*Some of these will also be second homes rented out in the holiday season.

[Data derived from Hometogo]

Tourism – a significant factor in global warming!

A new study says global tourism accounts for 8% of carbon emissions, around three times greater than previous estimates. The new assessment is bigger because it includes emissions from travel, plus the full life-cycle of carbon in tourists’ food, hotels and shopping. Driving the increase are visitors from affluent countries who travel to other wealthy destinations. The US tops the rankings followed by China, Germany and India. Tourism is a huge and booming global industry worth over $7 trillion, and employs one in ten workers around the world. It’s growing at around 4% per annum. Previous estimates of the impact of all this travel on carbon suggested that tourism accounted for 2.5-3% of emissions.

However in what is claimed to be the most comprehensive assessment to date, this new study examines the global carbon flows between 160 countries between 2009 and 2013. It shows that the total is closer to 8% of the global figure. As well as air travel, the authors say they have included an analysis of the energy needed to support the tourism system, including all the food, beverage, infrastructure construction and maintenance as well as the retail services that tourists enjoy.

“It definitely is eye opening,” Dr Arunima Malik from the University of Sydney, who’s the lead author of the study, told BBC News. “We looked at really detailed information about tourism expenditure, including consumables such as food from eating out and souvenirs. We looked at the trade between different countries and also at greenhouse gas emissions data to come up with a comprehensive figure for the global carbon footprint for tourism.” The researchers also looked at the impacts in both the countries where tourists came from and where they travelled. They found that the most important element was relatively well off people from affluent countries travelling to other well to do destinations.

The report highlights one of the negative aspects of tourism, namely its effect on carbon emissions and global warming. In Cornwall, it has other environmental impacts leading to traffic congestion and social impacts such as using housing resources for holiday use rather than residential use. Tourism is also a major driver of population growth in Cornwall.

The article can be read online at: