In "As big farmers long for freedom..." (Spotlight, Mar. 29), you succeeded in telling in a few words more than I have found in Austrian newspapers for years. Politicians and the media here are reluctant to give any information on the future of small farms, which represent a big majority. From an economic point of view, it might be sensible to restructure European agriculture to be more "efficient," but we should also look at how this process influences the high standard of food we enjoy in Europe and especially in Austria.

We all know that the well-informed consumer buying expensive, high-quality food for health reasons is nothing more than fiction. Do you study each label carefully in the supermarket? When you hurry to buy your food in the late evening after a stressful day, on which desire would you put your emphasis if you have to choose between high-quality food and the opportunity to save money for the next holiday trip, a new car, or bigger apartment? Of course, health is important to me, but unless I am really ill--no question--I'd take the holiday trip like many others.

We shouldn't be forced to choose between healthy and environmentally friendly produced food and luxury goods. We need and want both.

Markus Burger

Vienna

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