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Food Parks to fix the Food Industry?

News of plans in Norfolk for a huge factory ‘farm’ run by big business, Cranswick, shows what a terrible state the UK food industry is in and why we need to take action with Food Parks.

The Factory ‘Farm’ is a plan for 20 sheds to house 870,000 chickens, and 14 buildings for 14,000 pigs on land that was previously an RAF base.

Horror stories of animal welfare, swarms of flies, pungent smells plaguing local communities as well as discharges of contaminated liquid into waterways should be enough to stop development of these ‘farms’.

‘Farms’ is in italics as there are no farmers involved and using the word gives farmers a bad name.

It is amazing to me that councils allow these meat factories. Especially when one local councillor said: “Like many I have shut my eyes as to the reality of what happens in these sheds and accepted the argument that if you want cheap food, then what are your choices?

growing food together

“The benefits of a higher-welfare, non-intensive system are numerous, including reduced pollution and a greater number of job opportunities.

“Operations such as this have little to do with farming. It is just about processing soya into meat, and I really do think that British farming is better than this.” Thank you Farms NOT Factories for this information

British farming IS better than this. Farmers want to produce quality food at high welfare and environmental standards that improve soils. They simply want be paid a fair price and not have to compete with a substandard product. The government should support sustainable farming by increasing animal welfare standards, whilst heavily fining any pollution as well as ban, or tax, cheap imports of factory farmed produce from abroad. Especially if those farms have even lower standards of animal welfare than the UK.

The age old excuse that the UK should not be a nanny state and people should be free to make up their own minds about what they buy is really naive.

nature friendly food

Unfortunately you can’t taste low animal welfare and big business hide the nasty side of factory farmed food. Would people buy the meat from the factory farm if they had to walk through the animals in the sheds first? And if provided with all the facts opt instead for the better, slightly more expensive, alternative.

This is exactly why we are setting up our first Food Park where local people, schools and businesses can get involved and experience the real, field-to-plate, journey of food, and in the process make better, healthier, more sustainable, food buying, and cooking, choices.  We have a growing and diverse range of food producers and retailers on site and aim to grow everything in local fields, farms, schools and gardens.

Our first one is at Elsworth near Cambridge and called Frank’s Farm named after my great grandfather who bought the farm 100 years ago when the farms grew food powered by horses and people.  The new Frank’s Farm will take us back to an era when farms grew food for local people and were a community asset.

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