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Food & farming

The Countryside Alliance and The Countryside Alliance Foundation champion and support British farmers and producers, and believe that food and farming are central to the character and well-being of Britain.

We support and recognise the valuable part farmers play not only in producing food to some of the highest standards in the world, but also their vital role in shaping and maintaining the landscape and communities for which Britain is renowned. Our Food and Farming campaign highlights the importance and value of clear food labelling and assured food procurement to enable consumers to make informed choices and have confidence in the products they are buying. It reaches out to butchers, chefs, journalists in print, radio and TV, and of course members of the public. We also deliver workshop programmes in catering colleges and provide in-store promotional support to supermarkets.

We provide a wealth of useful information on the benefits of eating British wild game, where to buy it and how to cook it, including nutritional facts, step by step guides to preparation, recipes and newsletters. The Countryside Alliance Awards, celebrating rural food and highlighting good quality locally sourced produce, have become an established and reputable part of the rural calendar giving yet more support to the issues that matter to people in rural and urban areas.

Campaigns - Food & Farming:

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Coming soon - the 2015 Rural Oscars

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards, aka Rural Oscars, will open to nominations on our website on Monday 14th September. This year, we include a new category - tourism enterprise - to reflect the diverse contributions tourism makes to life in the coutnryside. Other categories are local food & drink, village shop/ post office and butcher. Make sure you back your rural heroes when we open to nominations! We will be sending out hard copy nomination forms and posters - if you would like a stock, please email

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Is your local "Britain's Best Sporting Pub"? Nominate now!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Countryside Alliance has teamed up with Country Life magazine to find "Britain's Best Sporting Pub". This competition aims to celebrate traditional pubs such as coaching inns The Buccleuch Arms at Melrose, the Swan at Tarporley and Jamaica Inn at Launceston or medieval establishments including the Lord Crewe in the Durham uplands, central to shooting at Blanchland Moor. All have a long history of support for their local hunts or shoots. Support for the local community is the driving factor, a good example of which is the Cresselly Arms in West Wales (which is seasonal and supports the cricket team in the summer). We have all been to a pub after a day in the field where a warm welcome awaits and it is a well-established and comforting part of our rural heritage.

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Supporting the Forestry Commission's Oak Processionary Moth Caterpillar campaign

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Forestry Commission has launched a publicity campaign on Oak Processionary Moths, a pest which has become established in oak trees. The Commission says "Oak Processionary Moth is a non-native species which was accidentally introduced from abroad several years ago. Its caterpillars can affect human, animal and tree health.

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Congratulations to the GWCT on second Big Farmland Bird Count

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Congratulations to the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust (GWCT) on its second Big Farmland Bird Count which was held between the 7th and 15th February 2015. The Trust has today released the results, highlighting the exceptional work farmers do for conservation and biodiversity. The Trust reports that over 950 farmers took part and recorded 127 species - nearly twice as many farmers and an additional 11 species compared to the 2014 count. Blackbird, robin, blue tit, chaffinch, carrion crow, woodpigeon and pheasant were seen by over 70% of the farmers taking part. 

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Paul Brannen MEP writes for us on CAP

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Paul Brannen MP writes: During the hearing of the then Commissioner-designate for agriculture and rural development Phil Hogan on 2nd October 2014 I asked him whether he planned to commit European Union (EU) to ensuring that agricultural practices relevant to soil protection are observed throughout the EU and whether he would propose any new measures aimed at increasing resilience of European farmland to flooding.

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Keep dogs under control during lambing

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

During lambing, the Countryside Alliance reiterates support for Farmers Guardian's "Take the Lead" campaign, launched last year to educate the public about the impact of livestock worrying by dogs with the ultimate aim of reducing the growing number of attacks. Backed by leading farming and rural organisations, Take the Lead was set up in response to shocking new statistics which revealed the number of incidents has jumped by more than 50 per cent in the last three years. The message is clear: Keep your dog on a lead or it could kill livestock. 

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Clarissa Dickson Wright Award won by inspiring Borders farm

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Peelham Farm, the family-run mixed farm based at Foulden in Berwickshire, has been honoured with the second annual Clarissa Dickson Wright Award for contribution to food, farming and education. The Award, set up to carry on the legacy of the late cook, author and “Two Fat Ladies” broadcaster Clarissa Dickson Wright, was presented by the Environment Secretary at the Houses of Parliament on 4th February.

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Secretary of State honours Rural Oscars Champions at Parliament

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The 10th annual Countryside Alliance Awards, aka The Rural Oscars, were held at Parliament on Wednesday 4th February, with Champion of Champions plaques being presented by the Environment Secretary Liz Truss MP to businesses in Suffolk, Shropshire, Dorset, Co Kildare and Berwickshire.

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Fire and Rescue budget cuts could affect animal welfare, warns Alliance

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Countryside Alliance has raised concerns with Welsh Government over the recent decision by North Wales Fire and Rescue Services to opt out of emergency calls to large animals.
Calling for an urgent meeting with Ministers, the Alliance has sought to begin discussions to find a balance in services so that the welfare of large animals, particularly, is not compromised. The North Wales Fire & Rescue Service has taken this decision as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
Rachel Evans, Countryside Alliance director for Wales, said: “It is extremely worrying that this resource will no longer be available in North Wales after April 2015 and there are serious concerns for animal welfare surrounding their decision.

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Dairy sector suffering as crippling price cuts leave their mark, says NFU

Monday, 12 January 2015

The number of dairy farmers in England and Wales has halved in just over a decade with 60 farmers giving up producing milk in December alone – a rate which will see fewer than 5,000 dairy farmers left by 2025, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has reported this week. The Countryside Alliance is in full support of the NFU on this issue. On Monday NFU President Meurig Raymond spoke at the 25th Semex Conference in Glasgow – the first big dairy conference of 2015 – where he drew attention to the current situation with First Milk and set out what he wants to see happen across the board to support dairy farmers at this crucial time.

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