Patrick Gillett and Ali Silk have been left scratching their heads over the Home Office's decision that their crop of hemp should be destroyed.
Whatever the ins-and-outs of this particular scenario (the Home Office has said no licence had ever been sought, and Gillet and Silk thought they had been operating within the law) this case does serve to highlight the extent to which crops can be destroyed before they reach their intended market - just like the foodwaste which was reported earlier in the week.
If the UK is to reach its net-zero carbon target in 2050, it must ensure that wasted crops become a thing of the past. It is not known whether Gillett and Silk's crops were put to good use after they were harvested, but one hopes that they were (for example, used as animal bedding or biomass fuel), in order to add a hint of a silver lining to what must be an upsetting episode for these farmers.
Silk estimated that their company, Hempen, would lose about £200,000 as a result of the destroyed crop and while their overall projections for sales over the next few years were as high as £2.4m, she said it would be foreign hemp growers who would reap the benefits.