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 wellbeing of rural 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 & 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 rural people in rural areas.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Defra has produced a short film in which small businesses talk about their experience and success in using broadband to help grow their business, in order to encourage other small businesses to follow suit. The video supports the wider Government infrastructure programme to make faster speed broadband available to over 90% of the population, especially in rural areas.Read more
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Sheep farmers generally, and hill farmers in particular, were having a hard time of it even before the dreadful weather of the last few weeks. Last summer's wet weather increased feed prices and lowered quality and then a sudden increase in imports of New Zealand lamb coincided with much reduced demand for lamb in traditional European markets which have been hit hard by the Euro-zone financial crisis.Read more
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Yesterday was a highlight in the Countryside Alliance calendar - the Parliamentary reception for the Countryside Alliance Awards, aka the Rural Oscars. Regional Champions from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales gathered to celebrate rural life, and we were honoured that the Secretary of State for Defra, Owen Paterson MP, spoke to the gathering and, alongside our Chairman Kate Hoey MP, handed out the overall UK & Ireland Awards.Read more
Thursday, 14 March 2013
It's Bacon Connoisseurs' Week (18-24th March) and according to a survey of 2000 Brits by UK FoodNetwork, bacon takes the number one spotin Britain’s Top 100 Foods, closely followed by chocolate and steak. The bacon sandwich remains popular out‐of‐home with 324 million servings in the 12 months to September 2012. Bacon is a £1.37 billion industry, with consumers currently purchasing 226.9k tonnes per year. Rashers are the most popular form of bacon - click here for more bacon facts. You can make the Pork Promise to help support our industry, giving "thought to the pork on your fork" - click here. Please back British - our pig farmers need our support, so always look for the Red Tractor.Read more
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner writes: Yet more revelations about horsemeat in food products have dominated the headlines recently. Horsemeat has been detected in several branded and supermarket-own processed meat products and retailers are currently undertaking more tests on beef products, following a meeting with the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson last week. While the on-going incidents of horsemeat in the food chain appear to be acts of criminality, the recent scandal highlights that it is vitally important to have adequate food labelling, particularly with respect to meat in processed food products. Mandatory country of origin labelling on all meat products has been a long-standing campaign of the Countryside Alliance; it is clear to us that more stringent country of origin labelling would foster improved traceability systems, making it harder for unlabelled meat to enter the food chain.Read more
Thursday, 31 January 2013
Julie Girling has sent us the following press release in support of our farmers: Whilst British Farmers have bent over backwards to ensure compliance with EU rules on the conditions in which pigs are kept, a large proportion of EU Countries are still flouting the rules. The European directive banning individual stalls for sows took effect on 1 January 2013. Seven EU member states, including the main pig meat producer countries such as Germany, Spain, Denmark and France, have still not come into line with the new rules on animal welfare for sows.Read more
The Countryside Alliance shares the concerns of the National Pig Association (NPA): Around 40,000 ‘illegal’ pigs an hour will be entering the European food chain in January and bacon, ham and pizzas containing their meat is destined for Britain’s supermarkets, corner shops and restaurants, according to Britain’s National Pig Association. The pigs will come from continental farms where sows are still confined in individual steel cages known as ‘stalls‘ — a practice outlawed by European Union animal welfare legislation from 1 January 2013.Read more
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Meet the Regional Champions in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards. 4,500 nominations have been shortlisted, judged and we are proud and delighted to bring you the winners of 2012. With the ongoing horsemeat food crisis our Awards winners provide a timely and necessary reason why eating local and paying attention to traceability is vital. Please support your regional winners and never miss an opportunity to eat local and back your small community businesses. Read more
Thursday, 17 January 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: A food scare never fails to alarm, and when the spotlight shines on the unsustainable cheap-end of the market we must use the opportunity to inform consumers. In many ways this week's news that horsemeat has been found in processed beef burgers has been more of a revelation than a scare. Although eating horsemeat poses no health risks, it is considered distasteful by many in the UK, who prefer not to eat their companions. Nevertheless, this incident has combined many strands of the Countryside Alliance’s work on food.Read more