29/09/2023 | 0 comments

a note from the editor, Roz Hartley

For the past few years, I have driven past this sign on my way to work and watched as the price of horse manure has steadily dropped. It used to read £1 a bag and the pile of large plastic bags, full to bursting with horse poop, would entice passers-by to fill up their car boots with steaming manure to sprinkle on their roses or veggie beds. Obviously, the pile wasn’t going down as quickly as the seller required, so soon afterwards, the price dropped to 50p a bag.


​Driving by last week, I noticed that the sign had once again been updated. The price of horse dung has hit an all-time low in this neck of the woods as it is now FREE to anyone who can be bothered to lift a bag and pop it in their car. Free!! It seems whilst prices rise in pretty much every other market, from grain to petrol, from rents to cheese, there exists one place where you can grab a bargain – pony poo!


​I’m sure a few people were excited by the freebies at the side of the road. The word “FREE” can make a person do all sorts of out of character things. I feel my fingers twitch when I see a “BUY ONE GET ONE FREE” (or the delightfully named BOGOF offers) in my local supermarket. Who else comes home clutching two bags of doughnuts when really all they went in for was a box of matches? It’s false economy really. No one needs two bags of doughnuts …. It could be argued that no one really needs ONE. The word FREE makes us lose our rationale and gather up stuff that we ordinarily wouldn’t look twice at.

​I am trying to be a better shopper. I am trying to not get sidetracked. Just because horse poop is free, doesn’t mean I automatically put some in my car boot and so neither should I pick up bags of doughnuts.


​Freebies in supermarkets are just the tip of the destructive pricing model iceberg that lures consumers into expecting to pay less and less for the food. The reality behind the BOGOF is that producers are not being paid fairly for their hard work, their own profits are being squeezed into non-existence and food production in the UK is shrinking as a result. 

“Farmers cannot keep feeding us if they are denied commitment and security and are not making a fair, reasonable profit”

says the eloquent Guy Singh-Watson of Riverford.

​Everything should be pointing the conscientious shopper to the farm shop where the supply chain is short and the pricing fair. We’ll keep shouting about you and fuelling the revolution! Shoppers… turn your back on those BOGOFs and get down to your local farm shop. A bag of free horse manure to the first ten customers through the door.


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