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Farm Wilder joins Eating Better

News | Published  7 August 2019

Farm Wilder have joined over 60 organisations as part of the Eating Better alliance accelerating action for less and better meat and dairy.

Farm Wilder have joined over 60 organisations as part of the Eating Better alliance accelerating action for less and better meat and dairy.

Farm Wilder are a social enterprise that have identified the need to bring people who are keen to choose meat and dairy produced in a more nature friendly way together with the farmers who work in this way.

Farm Wilder select and label the highest quality produce from the most wildlife friendly farms so that when a consumer buys Farm Wilder produce they know they will be helping bring back our wildlife, and supporting the change to a sustainable way of farming.

Farm Wilder is an antidote to the lack of transparency seen across some UK retailers as to where meat and dairy comes from and how it is produced.

For people to make informed food choices, transparency is essential. Through the ‘Better by half: roadmap’ Eating Better is calling on retailers to provide clear information on origin and method of production that covers the entire range of animal products, including ingredients.

Too often we products that have labels or packaging that is undefined, unclear or misleading in its imagery, i.e. products from animals raised intensively indoors might be promoted with pictures of outdoor small-scale farms. 

Farm Wilder is showing leadership in this area, by not just providing transparency to consumers, but by making the origin of meat and the way it is produced the major selling point.

Farm Wilder sources produce from farms that are exceptionally wildlife friendly and sustainably managed. They partner with experts from RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) to ensure that the farmers are creating the right habitat for specific rare species, like the Marsh Fritillary Butterflies protected by beef farmers in Devon.

The Marsh Fritillary Butterflies once widespread across Britain, but now are reduced to a few last strongholds in the west, including Dartmoor. Butterfly Conservation and Devon Wildlife Trust work with Farm Wilder farmers to help them manage their damp Rhos pastures to provide plenty of the Marsh Fritillary’s food plant – devil’s-bit scabious. The meadows need light grazing by cows or ponies, but never sheep as they graze the plants too low. Only hardy native breeds of cattle thrive on these unimproved meadows. They’re slower growing than modern breeds, but they do produce the tastiest and healthiest meat. 

Farm Wilder work with the farmers to help them share the story to consumers of how they are farming with the wildlife on their farms. They use attractive and informative labelling to show the consumer the value of the produce and the conservation work that the farmers do.

Tim Martin from Farm Wilder has said: ‘Farm Wilder is delighted to be joining the Eating Better Alliance because we feel it’s so important to get the message out to the public that whilst we do need to reduce the overall amount of meat we consume, it’s also vital that the meat we do eat is better for the environment. That’s why Farm Wilder only promotes beef and lamb from regenerative farming that restores soils and wildlife. This kind of pasture-fed meat is actually good for the planet - it ensures the survival of wildflower meadows and rare species like Marsh Fritillary Butterflies and Cuckoos, it restores soil health, helps sequester carbon into the soil, and reduces pollution and flooding. Many British farmers are working hard to improve their sustainability and our mission is to use inspiring labelling and marketing to tell their story.’

Farm Wilder will bring experience from farmers to the coalition, joining other farmer-led organisations such as the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, LEAF, Nature Friendly Farming Network, The Biodynamic Association and the Landworkers’ Alliance.