Today's News - 14 February 2013
“This campaign isn’t just about saving one family farm but it’s also about the future of farming and food production in the UK. Do we really want meat production to be done only on an industrial scale – with the hazards that brings – and for farming just to be the preserve of giant corporations, millionaires and ex-pop stars?”
Kerry Rankine, Growing Communities’ assistant director.
Growing Communities (14 Feb)
Growing Communities launches campaign to save Stocks Farm
Growing Communities’ is set to launch a campaign this week to save Soil Association licensee Stocks Farm, run by brothers Chris and Iain Learmonth, from going out of business.
Growing Communities (14 Feb)
How can caterers protect themselves from the horsemeat scandal?
Many university caterers might insist that because they don't buy ready meals they need not worry about the recent horsemeat scandal. But the Food Standards Agency has stated that it has ordered British companies to test all their processed beef products. To ensure that customers remain confident with a food outlet that the food they buy is correctly labelled, caterers could turn to recognised and trusted organisations such as Red Tractor and source organic products. Featuring a quote from Rob Sexton, CEO of the Soil Association Certification.
TUCO (13 Feb)
The Soil Association's latest statement on the food system regulation
EU takes steps to stymie decline of bee populations
Declining bee populations have been a mystery for years. Perhaps most dramatically exemplified by the enigma of colony collapse disorder, a term coined to describe the rise in mass disappearances of entire bee colonies in the US since late 2006, the exact cause of the progressive loss of bee colonies worldwide has been something of a riddle. Featuring quote from Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association.
Weekly Zaman (9 Feb)
Find out about Keep Britain Buzzing
Are Honeybees losing their way?
A combo of pesticides takes a toll on their memory and communication skills. A new study shows that long-term exposure to a combination of certain pesticides might impair the bee's ability to carry out its pollen mission.
National Geographic (13 Feb)
RSPCA commissions review into Freedom Food
The RSPCA has commissioned a review into its Freedom Food accreditation scheme, which assures animal welfare. The independent, expert review, which will take place over the next few months, will help ensure high standards and make recommendations to ensure the best possible practice to the Freedom Food.
Meat Info (13 Feb)
Iceland dismisses prospect of mackerel wrangle sanctions
The fishing industry in Iceland is shrugging off the prospect of European trade sanctions if it continues to over-fish one of Scotland's most valuable stocks.
BBC News (12 Feb)
Irish farmers take to streets again in milk-price protest
Irish farmers have gone back on the streets to protest at poor ex-farm milk prices. The Irish action comes as UK dairy farmers renewing their complaints about ex-farm rates failing to cover production costs and retailers and processors not signing up to the voluntary dairy code of conduct which was agreed with government in October after protests across Britain last summer.
The Press and Journal (14 Feb)
'No horsemeat served in Coventry schools' says firm
Parents in Coventry and Warwickshire have been assured their children have not been fed horsemeat in school dinners. In Warwickshire, the county council is also reassuring pupils and parents at schools which use the county’s school dinner service, which sources its minced beef from Soil Association licensee Lower Hurst Organic Farm in Derbyshire. Nicky Stonebridge of the farm said: “This [organic] certification confirms the UK origin of all the beef we use, the farm of origin, the organic status of the individual livestock and the production process here at Lower Hurst Farm.
Coventry Telegraph (12 Feb)
Horse meat scandal: Nottingham City Council checks for contamination
thisisnottingham (11 Feb)
Plymouth City Council and Derriford Hospital get assurances of no horse meat in city food supply
thisisplymouth (12 Feb)
Flood scheme 'discriminates' against rural areas
The CLA has claimed Defra’s £2.3 billion investment in flood risk management continues to discriminate against rural areas at risk of flooding.
Farmers Guardian (14 Feb)
Less nitrogen could lift your potato yields
A grower collaboration project conducted by Cambridge University Farm has shown that higher potato yields can be achieved with less applied nitrogen. The economic and environmental benefits could be significant, with an average increase of saleable tuber yield (>40mm) of 3t/ha when using the reduced rates and savings on greenhouse gas emissions from less artificial fertiliser use.
Farmers Weekly (13 Feb)
Earlier this week, Farming Today reported on claims from the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that the horse passports and microchipping system in Ireland had been abused - leading to horse meat being illegally traded and ending up in food. Now a leading horse welfare charity says the problem is being compounded by a legal agreement between Britain, France and Ireland.
BBC Radio 4 (14 Feb)
And finally…‘Frankenfrog’ finds a date for Valentine’s Day as Toad of Toad Hall marries his princess
Metro (13 Feb)
Yesterday’s (13 Feb) Today’s News included a misquotation of Paul Grorgy, of Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The following quote was in fact from Steve Brown, a Cornish butcher. “I only use west country meat, from Devon and Cornwall, because I can be assured of the quality.”