BY BEN EAGLE It has been a funny old year. A few months ago the Beast from the East gripped the country with snow and icy weather unlike any I have seen in my lifetime, rivalling the winters of old described by older generations. Jumping ahead to today, in the current weather context we haven’t seen any rain here in Essex for 53 days. Further, … Continue reading Keep Calm and Carry On
BY BEN EAGLE As a nation we pride ourselves in aspiring to produce food that is of high quality and we hold animal welfare standards in similarly high regard. Post Brexit all the rhetoric coming out of Defra at the moment suggests that Brand Britannia Farming will be focused as much as possible on producing high welfare, high quality food that has minimal impact on … Continue reading Do You Trust The Tractor?
BY BEN EAGLE How confident are you that British workers will embrace the fields and step into the shoes of the growing number of European migrant workers who are choosing to work in countries such as France or Germany instead of the UK? Personally, my confidence levels are low. The early indicators suggest that Britain is facing a labour crisis and there needs to be … Continue reading Emerging Farm Labour Crisis
BY BEN EAGLE Anybody involved in British agriculture should have accepted by now that the days for direct payments based on land area are limited in number. Instead we will be embracing a system of ‘public payments for public goods’, whatever that means. Although Michael Gove has in recent weeks offered a trickle of potential policy changes and words of general direction, there has been … Continue reading The End of Direct Payments?
BY BEN EAGLE I admit it, I’m a Gove convert. However, when he was appointed to his role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Cabinet reshuffle of June last year I took a big gulp and expected the worst. I was highly sceptical, looking back on his history in the Department for Education and his status as a Leave … Continue reading Converting to Gove
BY BEN EAGLE It’s now under a month to go until we all revel in the Christmas festivities (those of us who celebrate Christmas at any rate, which is most people in this country). It will almost be time to wave goodbye to 2017, which, with my hat on at least, has not been the most optimistic of years, particularly it seems as it draws … Continue reading View From the Countryside
BY JAMIE FOSTER Michael Gove has announced a new Environmental Watchdog which will be created to protect Britain’s wildlife, land, sea and air following Brexit. It is intended to be a bulwark against the powerful and to ensure that environmental standards don’t slip when we leave the EU. A cross party environmental committee has expressed concern about what will happen in the aftermath of Brexit. … Continue reading Gove’s Environmental Watchdog
BY ANASTASIA CHOO Is there anything that feels more nostalgic or autumnal than a basket of freshly picked apples? Each year in October a friend brings me an abundant mix of Cox’s Orange Pippins, Worcester Pearmain and Egremont Russets from her orchard to celebrate a delicious harvest. As an apple grower she is aware that traditional English apples are in danger of becoming some dwindling … Continue reading Autumn Apple Roses
BY BEN EAGLE People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have lost the plot. A couple of weeks ago a representative from their organisation appeared on ITV’s This Morning programme with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield to ‘inform’ viewers that sheep shearing is an inherently cruel practice and should be banned. Elisa Allen called on viewers to stop buying and wearing wool and instead … Continue reading PETA Have Lost the Plot