NFU seek support to maintain farmed food standards

Trade deals in respect of farmed food products will define what standards should apply to produce traded between countries.  The UK Government is currently developing new trade agreements with foreign countries as part of the Brexit process.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has launched a petition asking for your support for their campaign to ensure that standards agreed in these negotiations on imported food to the UK should be to leading world standards, recognising the UK’s high standards of safety and welfare.

Some might argue that standards in the UK could or should be at more sustainable levels than now in many differing ways, but relaxation of import standards would create a lower base from which improvements could move forward, quite apart from any economic or health implications.

The NFU state: “Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.  There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK.”   They ask that such standards should apply to all food which is imported here so what we eat is safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards. 

To find out more about the reasons for the petition and an opportunity to “sign” it, visit https://www.campaigns.nfuonline.com/page/56262/petition/1?locale=en-GB.

Feel free to pass this information to others who may be interested.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts on this issue at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org – it could change radically farming in this country.

To Meat or not to Meat?

Every day there seems to be something in the Media about eating meat. We are being encouraged to eat less meat (IPCC Report 2019) to reduce carbon and methane emissions. But reducing Co2 is so much more complicated. Emissions from rearing animals, particularly cattle for meat and dairy consumption may account for some 14% of the total created by us. This is an international figure though, and may not be true for the UK.

If you saw the BBC documentary on Monday 25th November, “Meat, a Threat to our Planet”, you may have been put off eating meat ever again. It was horrific to see vast herds of cattle and huge numbers of intensive pig farms which feed the American appetite for meat, and the ecological consequences of this. It is shocking to see farmers burning Amazon rainforest so that they can rear beef cattle, and the precious Sierra in Brazil being turned over to grain to feed these animals. Industrial scale “factory” farming like this produces cheaper meat and it is this that we need to stop eating. So let’s not eat meat from America or Brazil, but let’s continue to support our local meat producers. Our carbon footprint and farming practice is nothing like that of the Americas. Small scale pasture-reared meat is high in nutritional value and low in carbon footprint.

Continue reading “To Meat or not to Meat?”

Helen Browning, Soil Association Chief Executive and author of “Pig”, in Ledbury on 15th April

On Monday April 15th at 7.30, Burgage Hall, you can hear Helen Browning and her partner Tim Finney, previously editor of BBC Radio 4’s Farming and Environment programme, talking about their book “Pig”.


Continue reading “Helen Browning, Soil Association Chief Executive and author of “Pig”, in Ledbury on 15th April”

“Food” – A Book Group

Food is something we are all interested in. But how does it get to our table? Ledbury Food Group introduces its new Book Group on Thursday 17th January at 7pm. It’s an opportunity for us to “chew the cud” over some of the themes of current books relating to our food, finding out about the joys and challenges farmers face and the history of production. Books such as “The Secret Life of Cows”, forwarded by Alan Bennett, which appeared last year are full of discussion topics. The author Rosamund Young came to Ledbury in March to talk about it. Her introduction explores traditional and commercial farming and the book features hilarious anecdotes about her experiences rearing cows.

“Pig” is the new book on the block. Written by Helen Browning, pig farmer and chief executive of the Soil Association, “Pig” is the first book I would like to introduce the Food-Book Group to. Helen has been invited to Ledbury in April to talk about her farming experiences, and undoubtedly sustainable farming and food production as well. Continue reading ““Food” – A Book Group”

How Can We Reduce Single Use Plastic in Ledbury?

Ledbury may not be on the coast, but it does have fantastic countryside which suffers from plastic waste in our parks, on the hills and country lanes.

We live in a disposable society, but that doesn’t mean that we should continue to use single use plastics that take several hundred to thousands of years to decompose Vs biodegradable bags or corn-starch take away containers that can take between 3 and 6 months decompose. Continue reading “How Can We Reduce Single Use Plastic in Ledbury?”

Milk Matters – What’s happened to our Milk?

What are the differences between the milk we buy at the supermarket and real milk?

Why do these differences exist and what are the health implications?

You are invited to join local author Rob Elliott and Sally Dean for another talk and discussion evening, this time to explore why milk is not like it used be. The evening is hosted by the Ledbury Library Development Group. John Barron, a local producer of scrumptious Jersey milk, will join us. You will have an opportunity to sample John’s milk and discover the true taste of milk as it used to be. Continue reading “Milk Matters – What’s happened to our Milk?”

What are the connections between food and good health? A further exploration

Rob Elliott and Sally Dean are back by popular request to explore further the modern-day myths and mis-information surrounding our food. Rob will introduce Jayne West, a kinesiologist who will introduce the fascinating therapy of kinesiology – an effective and holistic way of determining each individual’s unique dietary requirements. Continue reading “What are the connections between food and good health? A further exploration”