Features Editor's Comment

Those of you old enough to be in a senior management position may well remember banker Nick Leeson and his ability to bring down an entire bank back in the mid-1990s. The UK financial sector was at its height when Leeson set up a fake account to hive off losses an action exposed when he sent an order from a New York securities trader that came from his home address.

The case of convicted fraudster 63-year-old George Moon has similar echoes. His recent prosecution came about because one of his associates sent a fax from Widnes Library, purporting to be from Crown Chicken. There is a bigger question that comes out of this who on earth sends faxes any more? Why not just ping an email attachment over, George? But if you're one of those caught up in some fake orders with Crown Chicken and Scotch Premier Meat, you have our sympathy.

While in some ways it is hard to stop laughing over this shambolic attempt to make money out of the meat industry by someone who should be thinking about his retirement, it certainly would have had a detrimental effect on a number of businesses especially as times are tough right now. As we report this week, feed prices are set to rise again, and yet another plant is closing this time the Brooks of Norwich facility in Norfolk, owned by New Zealand's Silver Fern Farms. It appears that over-capacity in the processing industry is still rife.

Yet the biggest factor in there being too many abattoirs is not just the current economic climate, tough as it is, nor is it the strengthened pound with its ability to limit exports, but more the fact that there just aren't enough animals to go around, particularly in the lamb market. More farmers, as well as banks that loan rather than speculate, are what the industry needs right now.

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