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.
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. Pictured are the butchers of SW Doughty in Kent, popular Champions in 2010. 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.
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 reason....is 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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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
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.Read more
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.