There is no hiding from the raging debates that have swarmed social media over the last couple of months. With Brexit thrown into the mix as well, the direction and the future of British farming seems somewhat uncertain.
Clashes of opinion where passions run so high sadly creates massive conflict and negativity. This anger certainly evokes emotion, and raises awareness of issues...but where do we go now?
For the consumer, these informed choices must not come from propaganda, memes and gossip. Where topics are contentious, people need to talk about them, remain balanced and open minded in every way, and not sweep issues that may make them uncomfortable under the carpet. Yesterday I learnt something new and exciting about vegan cheese...something I would have been highly sceptical of before, but it was fascinating. We have always been a nation of tolerance. What we need now is the ability for the consumer to make informed choices.
The solution is not endlessly plugging away marketing our meat. The solution is not turning the nation vegan. The solution is to tackle the scale of the meat industry and make it totally transparent. Supermarkets stack it high and sell it cheap. In order to survive in this industry, farmers have had to match scale and pricing. Why should a farmer have to raise 1000 head of cattle just to keep their head above the water selling to the supermarkets?
It saddens me that meat is not a luxury good any more. This is the issue.
So we need to think small to tackle the big issues. Consumers need to get back in touch with farming. Farmers need to be proactive and have a direct connection with the consumer to sing from the rooftops about where their food is coming from. Any good farmer will be willing to talk about all their practices to anyone who wants to hear about it.
By buying locally, and choosing quality, we can have a food revolution that matters.