Sunday, 12 September 2010


Regulation in these islands has gone mad. Allotment holders in Carlisle, who have donated home-grown vegetables to the local hospice have been banned because their gifts breach health and safety rules.

For years amateur gardeners at Botcherby Paddock, Carlisle, have donated their produce to Eden Valley Hospice for them to sell at its city centre shops. But hospice managers told them this week they would not take any more because it contravened health regulations.

The legislation says products like jam must be sold with a list of ingredients and information about where it was made. Fresh produce like fruit and vegetables must be sold from chilled cabinets which Eden Valley Hospice do not have.

Frank Dolan, spokesman for the allotment holders, said the group were heartbroken.

"This has upset a lot of people. There is a lady here in her 90s who has made jam for the hospice for years and she is devastated.

"People have been donating their produce to the shops for a long time without any problems. We have never had any complaints before.

"But we were told this week the hospice would no longer accept it. This has put a lot of people's backs up.

"These health and safety rules are totally out of control. You can't do anything nowadays, it's barmy.

"What's the difference between this and taking produce to a harvest festival or a gala day? Are those going to come under threat now?

"We don't blame the hospice; they do a wonderful job and they are only following orders.

"But it will be the poor folk who are patients there that lose out because of this."

He's right. The laws are barmy. The FSA said: " The rules don't apply to food that isn't prepared as part of a business. So this means that most food being sold for charity won't need to be labelled, including food sold at one-off events such as church fetes and school fairs. But if you regularly sell and package food for charity, for example, jars of jam or boxed cakes, you might have to follow regulations."

I suggest there is a surplus of staff at the FSA.

Shame on the FSA and it's disappointing that the Hospice hasn't put up more of a fight to defend the good folk who contribute to their income.

John Stevenson is the new Conservative MP for Carlisle. He ought to be onto this right away and ensure these difficulties are resolved. After all it's his boss who says the 'Big Society' is the means to a more secure financial and sustainable future for us all.


JuliaM said...

"We don't blame the hospice; they do a wonderful job and they are only following orders"

I blame them. They should have had the courage to say 'Shove your orders!'.

We expected no less of the hapless Gernam soldier, after all.

Joe Public said...

"Fresh produce like fruit and vegetables must be sold from chilled cabinets....."

So that's why our Globe is warming!

Wasting energy to keep fruit vegetables chilled?

I'd demand to be shown exactly which bit of legislation states Spuds & Carrots must be chilled. 'Cos my local Tesco don't.

Dramfineday said...

"I blame them. They should have had the courage to say 'Shove your orders!"

Well said Julia....

As a regular maker of home made jam it would gar you greet (a good scottish expression - translation = "would make you cry"(bitterly)). What better for folks than good honestly prepared and made foods? But no, canny dae that, why that might poison them. Aye right!

All Seeing Eye said...

I'm with Julia on this 100% If they had the cojones to stand up on this (and others like them in similar situations) we wouldn't have half of the nonsense we hear about.

The Hospice is at fault here.

subrosa said...

Me too Julia. Time they grew a pair. Their loss though.

subrosa said...

Joe, I never thought of it from that angle. Supermarkets don't use chiller cabinets for fresh produce.

subrosa said...

Such a pity the Hospice hasn't protested and insisted they'll continue to accept the produce Dram. I'm with Julia here.

subrosa said...

Aye ASE, I think we all agree the Hospice has let the allotment holders down. I do hope they find another charity more accommodating and less bureaucratic.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


I have been looking after some free range hens(helping someone out for a while) the eggs are my payment

Anyway many people who i have offered the eggs to for free as i cant eat them all............have been reluctant to take them one said they preferred them out of a box.

Many People have been conditioned to believe food is manufactured and have lost the connection between the Farm and what they consume from the supermarket.

Most oldies have a different view but then they were brought up in a different world.

subrosa said...

Funny you should mention that Niko. Just the other day a young couple were talking to me about food and they'd been to a restaurant which boasted only farm eggs were used in all dishes. They asked me what was meant by that.

If it doesn't come wrapped in cellophane or in a box with a barcode so many are suspicious. I hate to think what their health will be like in another 30 years.

Delphius1 said...

Rules like this are all about ensuring the supremacy of big business and pushing out any competition.

Only big business has the ability to follow stupid rules like this because the costs to a national chain are low, whereas to the small guy in the street, or the charitable organisations, the cost is relatively high.

Therefore competition for the huge chains is reduced, not by price differentials, but by back-door rules advocated by very vocal professional lobbyist groups.

subrosa said...

Well said Del. Good to see you back. I hope you're settled in a comfortable home now.

Delphius1 said...

Yep, I'm back, although the mojo is slow to return. New job, house and most importantly internet connection. But not much time for blogging at the moment.

subrosa said...

Good to hear things have improved Del. My mojo requires an overhaul but I feel if I stop temporarily that would be it. Will try to continue until the Afghanistan problem is resolved.

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