Certification

Businesses
Latest blogs

What is healthy soil and how do I know if I've got it?

Ben Raskin: If you have ever done any gardening or farming you will have a sense of what a good soil structure is, or perhaps an understanding of a fertile soil, but what do we really mean when we talk about soil HEALTH. Even the professionals don't have a single definition though this one from the FAO is pretty good: "the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, promote the quality of air and water environments, and maintain plant, animal, and human health".

26 January 2016 | 5 Comments | Recommended by 2

Better Jobs for Better Farming - thoughts from the Oxford Real Farming Conference

Ben Raskin: One of the themes running through the conference this year was the theme of livelihoods in farming. In particular, can smaller agro-ecological farmers compete fairly in a global market, and if not then how can we expect to attract new entrants to ensure we have a vibrant, skillful and knowledgeable farming community to cope with the climatic challenges of the next century?

12 January 2016 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 4

Overuse of antibiotics in farming could threaten us all, but there is another way

Helen Browning: As the evidence mounts as to the madness of using last resort antibiotics like colistin to treat our farm animals, often via mass medication, the intensive farm and vet lobby still seems defensive and complacent. I guess it’s easy to understand why. Routine antibiotics are usually required in indoor, concrete based systems, where large numbers of animals are kept together, often stressed by their confinement. These are the systems deemed necessary for ‘efficient’ protein production, to feed us cheaply with watery bacon and tasteless chicken breasts. Vets are too often complicit; they still rely heavily on drug sales to maintain their profitability. There is another way, of course, one that has been pioneered by organic farmers over decades.

22 December 2015 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 0