There was a great meeting on the Tuesday night after dinner for those interested in the work of the PFLA. Andrea Malmberg (Savory Institute) and Carrie Balkcom (American Grassfed Association) were present.
We need to stop being defensive about what we produce, for instance the fact that it tastes different.
We have to acknowledge that we are not about to get rid of feedlots in the US in the next 40 years.
It is important not to be too critical and aggressive. We need to show by example.
For generational farmers who don’t have anyone to pass land on to, things can be difficult.
Agricultural colleges teach economics but they don’t teach ways to solve the practical farming problems that face us.
It is also important to bring in transitional farmers that are still clinging on to feeding some grain.
The Slow Meat Festival in Denver, June 2015 is definitely worth a visit. The Slow Food movement represents the largest consumer group in the world to discuss these issues.
I am very hopeful for the future and the possibilities.
We need to incorporate the tools of positive psychology. We will heal the land faster, be kinder to the animals and produce better food. The number one cause of death in agriculture is suicide.
We are beginning to monitor wellbeing via online participation. There will be a launch of a web monitoring programme for the psychology of farmers via the Savory Institute.
The issue of Ractopamine was also discussed – used on pigs and can make them schizophrenic. Found in imported pork and used on cattle in Mexico.
The need for customer understanding was discussed – especially tapping into groups that may be helpful
The key element is certification. This is the most important factor – we must be able to guarantee our produce
We need to look at the market at the foundation level.
The PFLA will be employing a Fieldsman to connect with producers and find supply chains.
We will be working with bodies such as the Sustainable Food Trust.
It is time to talk to consumers, such as those in the Paleo community.
We need to offer ways in which farmers can convert, especially if consumers are asking for it.
The new logo is officially launched tomorrow (8th January).
We are getting around 100 visits per day to the website.
There are currently 150 members and this is doubling each year.
We have 40 approved producers and have just had our first in Scotland – Great Outdoor Eggs
We have had generous contributions for the website from Compassion in World Farming and Sheepdrove Farm
Sybil Kapoor is to write an article on the PFLA for the Borough Market magazine.
Our 2015 AGM will be in Yorkshire.
We are working on the issue of affordability with EBLEX and Oliver White is looking at marketing opportunities for grass fed meat.