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.
Friday, 6 December 2013
The Countryside Alliance Awards are hotting up now that regional finalists have been revealed. Please read on for information about the businesses local to you who have made the cut this year. Across four categories and nine regions our judges have a huge task ahead of them as the judging phase gets underway. Please support our finalists - we have village shops, farm shops, butchers, publicans, restaurateurs and much more in the mix this year and every single person involved is working hard to promote rural life, produce and skills. These Awards give a voice and a platform to rural enterprise and we are delighted to run them.Read more
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Defra writes: The future of farming, the rural economy and the natural environment in England will be shaped by responses to a consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy which opened today. The new EU rules set the framework for how Common Agricultural Policy funding may be spent, but the UK Government successfully pressed the Commission to agree that each country within the UK may make choices on how CAP is implemented from 2015.Read more
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
The Countryside Alliance Awards, aka the Rural Oscars, are our annual celebration of rural businesses, produce and communities. This public-nomination-led awards scheme runs across four categories and gives an annual boost to rural communities. Clarissa Dickson Wright (pictured) is one of our judges and with us hopes to celebrate and promote our local businesses, produce and communities.Read more
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
A brand new event called Farm Business Innovation, tailored to farm owners and managers looking for innovative ways to grow their business will be taking place at Olympia, London on 28/29th November. We are delighted to be partnering with this event and have a limited number of free tickets for Countryside Alliance members. Register for free.Read more
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Our Autumn magazine sees us featuring our 2012 UK & Ireland Countryside Alliance Awards Butcher Champions, JW Mettrick & Son, the High Peak outfit who serve their community, their local farmers and their local economy with huge distinction. Read "Five generations of excellence" here.
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
On Wednesday 7th August the Western Morning News marked Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to Devon with a piece in which he set out his vision. In "Farming is a UK success story - I'll fight to keep it that way" the PM paid tribute to our hardworking farmers, and more broadly wrote: "....this Government is committed to fighting the corner of everyone who lives in rural Britain....Many of you face challenges that rarely cross the mind of city dwellers: access to the internet, poor public transport links and regular flooding to name just a few. These are all issues we are working hard to change for the better, making sure that you are no longer forgotten." Read the Prime Minister's article here.
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Melissa Kite has written an excellent piece for The Spectator about the perils of wildlife conservation. She writes about the bats in her village - endangered and not to be moved despite the mess they are making. And she also makes a broader point: "the wildlife lobby gives the impression of becoming increasingly strident. In particular, there appears to be a neurotic obsession with the three Bs, by which I mean bats, bees and badgers. It sometimes feels, for example, as if the wildlife brigade would prefer that all cattle perished of TB rather than farmers harm one hair on the head of a badger, and that fields full of crops can shrivel and die so long as insecticide isn’t used that might kill bees. All of this is rather detrimental to food production, of course, but the wildlife groupies don’t seem to worry too much about that." Read Melissa's article, "Bats v People" here.
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Emily Churchill, a 12 year old from Devon has been awarded third place in the Countryside Alliance's inaugural Young Countryside Writer competition for her enthusiastic article about farming. Emily was awarded third place by judges Barney White-Spunner, Tracey Allen of Countrymans Weekly, Alastair Balmain of Shooting Times and Michael Clayton, hunting writer and former editor of Horse & Hound. The competition was open to 12-18 year olds and Emily impressed with her observation "School can often get in the way of what I like best, and that is being my Grandad's apprentice." Read on for Emily's' article. We will be launching the 2014 Young Countryside Writer competition in the New Year.Read more
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