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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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Defra Secretary writes exclusively for the Countryside Alliance magazine

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Liz Truss MP was appointed Secretary of State for Defra in the summer reshuffle and we immediately asked her to write a letter for our magazine, which is published below. In the letter the Secretary of State sets out her stall, writing about priorities for the Department and her determination to ensure a strong voice at Westminster for our rural communities.

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Rural Oscars Champions vote closed

Monday, 1 December 2014

Voting has now closed in the Countryside Alliance Awards 10th anniversary Champion of Champions scheme - thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in support of our rural businesses and communities. The Awards have seen all previous winners of the Countryside Alliance Awards, aka the Rural Oscars, re-compete in a special competition to find our Champion of Champions. The Awards exist to promote and support rural businesses, producers and communities and in their first decade they have become the definitive rural business award to win. Over 10,000 votes have been received and will now be counted. Results will be made public in the New Year.

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Take the "Pig Pledge"

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Pig Pledge campaign is a call to collective action whose purpose is twofold: to raise awareness about the impact of animal factories and to make people aware that they can vote for real farming over factory farming every time they buy a pork product. Take the "Pig Pledge" today, opting either to go meat free or to only eat meat from farms, not factories. This campaign complements our own country of origin meat labelling campaign as well as our Countryside Alliance Awards to support and promote best practice farming in the UK. 

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Peter Gott, Clarissa Dickson Wright Award winner & ambassador for farming

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance's Autumn magazine features a piece from Clarissa Dickson Wright Award winner Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in Cumbria. Peter muses on why he got the Award, observing that "part of the that I am part of the awkward squad, like her, and won't give up." Writing about his Cumbrian farm and also his role in setting up Borough Market in London, supported strongly by Clarissa, Peter's article is a must-read for all foodies. Read "Man on a mission" here.

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A tribute to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Sad news this week that the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire has passed away aged 94. Our thoughts are with the Duke and his family, as well as the many people working on or connected with the Chatsworth Estate.

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The brothers behind Eat Wild

The future's bright - young Rural Oscar winning entrepreneurs

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance's Autumn magazine features a look at some of the young entrepreneurs who have proved a hit in our own Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars). Click here to meet the energetic businessmen and women behind such diverse outfits as Eat Wild, Spuds & Berries, nomnom chocolate, Young & Country, Colstoun Cookery School and Broughgammon Farm.  

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Alliance welcomes Elliott Review recommendations

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Elliott Review, commissioned after the horsemeat scandal, which will institute a Food Crime Unit to increase consumer confidence in food. We are interested to see how the recommendations work in practice and are using our own Rural Manifesto, to be launched before the General Election in 2015, to call for clearer country of origin labelling.

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Working in coalition to combat fly grazing

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance has joined forces with several other major rural and animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, the NFU and World Horse Welfare, to launch a landmark report into the horrors of fly-grazing ahead of a parliamentary committee discussion on the issue.

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Liz Truss on the CA stand at the Game Fair

Appointment of Liz Truss as environment secretary

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Commenting on the announcement of Liz Truss as Secretary of State for the Environment, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Barney White-Spunner, said: “Owen Paterson has worked extremely hard as Secretary of State and has always had the interests of the countryside and rural communities clearly at heart, but the Alliance remains concerned that no matter who is environment secretary, fundamental issues within the department make this an almost impossible role.
“We wish Liz Truss all the best on her appointment and look forward to working with her. We hope that she, her colleagues in Government, and those in the Labour party will take the opportunity over the next 10 months to consider how the next government will deliver rural policy.”

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Barney explains why working to change the law on fly grazing is so important

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman´╗┐ Barney White-Spunner´╗┐ writes: Many of you will be well aware of the burgeoning fly grazing problem in the countryside. World Horse Welfare estimates that around 7,000 horses have been abandoned, a clear animal welfare concern as well as a headache for the farmers and landowners left with the abandoned animals. The Countryside Alliance's political team is working alongside a wide range of organisations including World Horse Welfare, the British Horse Society, NFU, CLA and RSPCA on this. This is a welcome example of the RSPCA working on front line animal welfare, as it should. Together we are pressing for changes to the law to make it easier (and less costly) for landowners and local authorities to remove fly-grazed horses from their land. We also want to help prevent irresponsible horse owners from leaving their animals to fend for themselves.

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