Farming has been a part of my life since I was a child. I grew up on a mixed vegetable and dairy farm on the outskirts of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. For my family, animal welfare was very much wrapped up in religion, as cows are sacred in Hinduism and are not slaughtered for meat. Farming was never an industry or business; it was our way of life and necessary for subsistence. As a child, I always had a particular love for cattle.
This survey had two primary aims. The first was to help a veganic farmer in transition better understand the local and wider UK market demand for several veganic food products which he was considering producing. In doing so, this would help him decide which crops to grow and what processing equipment to purchase. The second aim was to get a sense of the demand for veganic food products from UK consumers which would be useful to existing and prospective veganic or stockfree organic (SO) farmers who could use the data in the same way as the above farmer.
Watch the Podcast – Regenerative Scotland with Ariane Burgess, MSP in conversation with Rebecca Knowles of Stockfree Farming and Pete Ritchie, Nourish Scotland, talking about how changes in farming practices in Scotland will help us to tackle the climate emergency and restore Scotland’s degraded biodiversity.
Visiting the Orkney archipelago for the first time, it is striking how the landscape is almost completely dominated by livestock with some patches of cereal crops here and there. Yet, tucked in amongst all of this, on the island of Westray lies Thorncroft which immediately stands apart from (and to a certain extent, towers above) its surroundings on first sight.
Stockfree Farming conducted a qualitative survey of Scottish farmers and crofters from 2021 – 2022.
The need to reduce the production and consumption of animal products has been widely accepted as a climate change mitigation measure. The missing piece up to now has been how the farmers themselves feel about this. Our survey fills this gap.
Some of our key findings are below:
The importance of Tolhurst Organic in the world of stockfree farming is immense – a living example of a thriving farm business set in just under 20 acres in Oxfordshire, using absolutely no animal inputs and producing a vast array of vegetables and fruits for a local customer base.
Farmers will always be the people who produce our food. This is important to remember. Over the past two years, Stockfree Farming has been assisting farmers who are interested in shifting out of livestock agriculture into fairer, greener livelihoods. In support of these farmers, and all the amazing growers and producers in the UK, we have taken up a challenge amongst ourselves to Eat (only) British Plants for a Year!
Farmers For Stock-Free Farming is a Scottish-based, grassroots organisation established to inspire and support farmers and crofters in transitioning out of environmentally burdensome livestock agriculture into fairer, greener livelihoods that boost rural economies, mitigate climate change, improve food security, support biodiversity, and promote human health.
An interview with Laurence Candy of Northwood Farm
Death informs our relationship to life. Between 2017 and 2019, Laurence Candy of Northwood Farm in Dorset experienced numerous catastrophic events. It began by the loss of almost the entire dairy herd to bovine tuberculosis. Life-threatening family illnesses followed, and then the tragic loss of his brother-in-law.
Fifty-five percent of Britain’s cropland is currently used to produce animal fee. If we use all of this cropland to grow crops for human consumption we can more than provide for