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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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Vote now in the Champion of Champions scheme

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Countryside Alliance Awards, aka the “Rural Oscars,” are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special Champion of Champions scheme. Every UK Champion of the last ten years is being invited back to re-compete for Champion of Champions titles across four categories: Local Food; Village Shop/ Post Office; Traditional and Enterprise. An online vote is open until 30th November  - click here to vote for UK-wide contenders and click here to vote for the Welsh competitors.

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10 years worth of UK & Ireland Champs will compete

Rural Oscars' 10th anniversary Champion of Champions scheme

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Countryside Alliance awards, aka the Rural Oscars, turn ten this year, so to celebrate we are inviting former Champions to compete again, this time for the honour of being Champion of Champions. We want to celebrate our birthday with those who have helped make the Awards what they are and so an X Factor style public vote will open here at 9am on 1st November. A Welsh Champion of Champions competition will also be run, with the vote also open throughout November. Click here to find out who is competing. 

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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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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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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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Victory for Countryside Alliance members' views in BBC Trust review

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Today the BBC Trust reported back on its review of the BBC’s rural coverage, concluding that there are “deficiencies” that need to be improved - read here
We are delighted that Heather Hancock, who headed the review, has listened so closely to the concerns of you our members. Your views about metropolitan bias, simplistic reporting and little programming for those who live in rural areas are all reflected in her report.

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Help us to map the extent of the fly grazing problem

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

There is now widespread recognition of a growing horse crisis in Britain. In particular the problem caused to owners of land by the fly grazing of horses. Not only is this potentially hugely expensive for those whose land is used for illegal grazing but it is also extremely damaging in terms of horse welfare. There is now agreement across a wide range of organisations including World Horse Welfare, the British Horse Society, NFU, CLA, RSPCA and the Countryside Alliance that action needs to be taken and various changes made to the law which would make it easier to tackle this problem in a way which protects horse welfare and reduces the cost to land owners and local authorities. So far DEFRA have argued that the existing law is adequate. We do not agree and the recent Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 is already showing what could be achieved in England. Read on to find out how you can help.

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