Category: Farming

Why the LibDems won North Shropshire

Liz Webster

For years now, I have been in regular discussions with my farmer friend who lives in North Shropshire about Brexit, this Government and his MP, Owen Paterson. So, when the news broke that Paterson had been found guilty of breaking the lobbying rules, I excitedly proclaimed, “Exciting, you may get the chance of a recall […]

New Careers Advice required?

Martin Griffiths

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says that, of the 600,000 registered HGV license holders, half have left the industry. 16-20,000 foreign drivers are estimated to have returned home since Brexit and about 40,000 driving tests were cancelled due to the pandemic. Poor roadside facilities including a severe lack of roadside toilets and showers are also an issue. The RHA […]

Pigs to the Slaughter

Mark Haller

100,000 pigs could possibly be slaughtered due to a shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers, which in turn is due to Brexit mis-management

Trade Tunnel Vision

George Richmond

For the last couple of months I have been immersed in university final exams, preventing me from writing or paying much attention to current affairs. Despite this, I still saw how quickly the Australian Trade Deal went from being publicly debated to being signed off in June with total disregard for the interests of UK […]

Local Farmers discuss the Australia Deal

Julian Greenbank

The post-Brexit Australian Deal is going to affect the future of British farming, whether you’re a small farmer or a mass producer. Matt and Laura Elliot are two farmers who run the National Trust Sandy Hill Mob farm in Gloucestershire. They are regenerative farmers, which means they use the cattle to regenerate the soil and […]

British Agriculture under Threat

Hadrian Cook

As we emerge, cavorting in the sunshine, from beneath the cover of Covid, long-term positivity post-Brexit remains in short supply. Yes, pent-up economic demand may mean that hospitality and tourism will bounce back, as might the housing market. On the down side, according to IHS Markit, manufacturing growth has slowed in the post-Covid world. So […]

What the Australia Deal will do to British Farming

The Editor

Ed: This is a placeholder for an upcoming article by Liz Webster, Chair of Save British Farming. The proposed “Australia Deal” has focussed attention of the media, the public and, above all, farmers on the possible effects of such a deal. Yes there will be upsides but the predominant thinking amongst small farmers is that […]


Agroecological Farms are Needed to End Food Colonialism

Julian Greenbank

George Richmond tells our video reporter Julian Greenbank why it’s so important for farming to migrate to an agroecological base. Agroecology may be a new term to many but it is being promoted by many responsible environmental organisations. The British ‘Soil Association‘ defines agroecology as: “… sustainable farming that works with nature”. The United Nations […]

Australia Deal threatens British Farming

Liz Webster

Farming on the British Isles began with the Neolithic people and for thousands of years it hardly changed.  It was small scale and labour intensive, mixing crops and animals. In 1846, the repeal of the Corn Laws led to increased grain imports and many smaller farmers went bankrupt and many emigrated. But it was the […]

We have to change Direction in Farming

George Richmond

We can feed ourselves with healthy food, and we need to start doing so. That was the clear message from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s latest report, Farming for Change. The report stated that ‘we can grow enough healthy food for a future 2050 UK population’, but in order to do this we must […]

Love Local, Shop local, Eat Local

Martin Griffiths

When so much of our food and food influences have their origins in foreign fields, why should we shop local, buy local and eat local? International travel, Commonwealth legacies and European freedom of movement have developed our taste for a diverse range of flavours. Everyday products such as tea, coffee and spices, which were once […]

Food must become Political

George Richmond

In spite of some ropey internet connection and little chance to give a full speech, Luke Pollard MP stated very clearly that food must become more political. Pollard is the Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He was speaking at the forward-looking […]

Meanwhile in the Countryside … Memories of Avian Flu

Marian Whittaker

Ed: With cases of Bird Flu reported on a turkey farm in Northallerton and now in the West England area, our countryside writer recalls her blog of the 2016 outbreak in Gloucestershire. It’s recently been announced that two swans have died at Slimbridge from Avian Flu (thankfully not a very virulent strain) and a local […]

Why banning beef is not the answer

George Richmond

The Students Organising for Sustainability’s (SOS-UK) statement, ‘Why banning beef is not the answer’ has finally opened up a more productive conversation about sustainable food policies within universities. SOS-UK published its statement on Thursday, 22 November. This is one of the first attempts by any university-centred organisation or institution to break the static narrative, where […]

“Save British Farming” are trying to save us from ourselves

Jon Hill

Save British Farming (SBF) was founded by Liz Webster, a farmer in Wiltshire, with the objective of protecting our food standards and our farmers’ livelihoods. SBF says:The Government is selling British farmers down the river … they want to pass Bills that will ditch UK animal welfare and environmental standards for imported food, flood the […]

Will the Lords Amendment save our Agriculture?

Hazel Pennington

To protect the quality of our food, the Lords have voted for a crucial amendment to the Agriculture Bill to enshrine in law the principle that food imports should meet domestic standards. This is strongly supported by the National Farmers Union (NFU) and by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). See Food Manufacture 24 September 2020. […]

Save British Farming

Richard Jones

#SaveBritishFarming That’s the Twitter hashtag for an important Save British Farming campaign this autumn to protect the livelihood of British farmers against a number of threats posed by Brexit.  The biggest threat is the potential import of cheaper, lower standard food products, which would undercut the British farming industry. British farmers have to meet high […]

Notes from the countryside…foxes

Marian Whittaker

What’s your opinion of foxes? Urban scavengers? Varmints? Cute and cuddley? I would ask my chickens – but alas they are no longer here to give a view, Charlie Fox having paid us a visit on Saturday night. It was my own fault, distracted by grandchildren I went to shut the chickens IN for the […]

We neglect British farming at our peril

Liz Webster

After much obfuscation, Brexit has finally revealed itself to be a choice between Europe and America. Britain suffers with over confidence and under confidence simultaneously.  There is a repetitive theme in British culture of superciliousness – “we are better than everyone else” – which runs in parallel with a constant hankering to be like other […]

‘No-deal’ threat sends shudders through Gloucestershire farmers

Martin Griffiths

Gloucestershire has a rich history of sheep farming and Brexit is already putting it at risk. From the Cotswolds to the Forest of Dean, sheep farming is not only a major industry but it also supports many subsectors, including the processing of the meat, animal foodstuffs, transport firms and tourism. Brexit is already having a […]