Steve Webster was invited to participate in a panel discussion organised by the Ecotarians at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, on 18th October. Steve joined Andrew Clarke (NFU), Angela Karp (Rothamsted Research) and David Powell (New Economics Foundation), with Louise Gray (author of The Ethical Carnivore) in the chair to discuss sustainable food production and how it can be achieved. Using farm animal welfare as an example , Steve described how customers, food businesses, NGOs and government all help drive improvements in sustainability. For those of you who missed the live event, the whole of it is available through the Grantham Institute's YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jg1ebku4aI
During the summer of 2016 we worked with the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs to design and deliver an online survey of 'Future British Agricultural Policy'. The survey was inteded to capture the views of Young Farmers on the major questions that will impact on them as the UK re-negotiates its position with the EU. Results of the survey were released in mid-October and reported in the Farmers Guardian under the headline, 'Give us business support not handouts, say Young Farmers.'
Steve Webster presented some thoughts on the likely impact of Brexit on animal welfare at a Kindling Trust / Food Ethics Council debate in Manchester in April. Joining speakers from Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Nourish Scotland and Manchester Metropolitan University, the discussion was one of a series of events organised through the Food Ethics Council in the run-up to the referendum. And rather than trying to condence any arguments into a pithy sentence we thought we would leave the presentation here so that you can make your own decisions!
June 1st 2016 sees the launch by Fresh Start of the Land Partnerships Service. The Land Partnerships Service, which is funded by The Prince's Countryside Fund and The Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust, has been developed to draw together entrepreneurs looking for innovative ways of working with land owners, business owners or land agents with an opportunity or land to offer. The need for a 'matching service' was demonstrated in two reports that we completed on behalf of the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs in 2012 and 2014, and we have been honoured to be able to support the launch of the Land Partnerships Service through the National Industry Advisory Group. For more information on the service, please visit www.freshstartlandenterprise.org.uk
During the summers of 2014 and 2015 we worked with Nicky Amos, Rory Sullivan and Heleen van de Weerd on data collection and analysis for the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare is the first global measure of animal welfare standards in food companies and is designed for use by investors, companies, NGOs and other interested stakeholders. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare is sponsored by Compassion in World Farming, World Animal Protection and Coller Capital. Please visit www.bbfaw.com for more information and background briefings on the drivers for higher welfare in food companies and the role of investors in encouraging change, as well as the results of the 2014 and 2015 Business Benchmarks.