Approximately 75% of UK land area is used for agriculture, providing employment for around 472,000 people. The food and agriculture sector also accounts for a rising 30% of our carbon footprint, presenting an urgent need to reframe land and reinvent farming.
In a net zero world, land will need to sustain inter-cropping, livestock, pasture, biodiversity, water services, carbon sequestration and more. The prospect of new food and farming policies for the UK provides the opportunity to do things differently and we now have a much better understanding of how farming and nature can co-exist and, indeed, benefit each other. But as we strive for just transitions that leave no one behind, what are the implications of making these shifts? Minette Batters is President of the NFU, Peter Hetherington is a journalist and author of Whose Land is Our Land? and Land Renewed: Reworking the Countryside and Nick Palmer is Head of Compassion in World Farming UK. Chaired by Adele Jones, Deputy CEO, Sustainable Food Trust.
Elizabeth Zott is a one-of-a-kind scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show. Her unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. As it turns out, Elizabeth isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo. Debut writer Bonnie Garmus talks to Stephanie Merritt.
A memoir with a twist: each chapter is a recipe that tells a story. Ed Balls was just three weeks old when he tried his first meal in 1967: puréed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. From that moment on he was hooked on food. Taught to cook by his mother, Ed’s now passing her wisdom on to his own kids as they start to fly the nest.
Reflecting on his life in recipes, Ed takes us from his grandma’s shepherd’s pie to his first trip to a restaurant in the 1970s; from the inner workings of Westminster to the pressures of parenting.
He talks Natalie Haynes through a collection of the meals he loves most, and the memories they bring back.
Come to Andrew and Rachel Giles’ farm with local vet Barney Sampson to see how their herd of dairy cows produces most of their milk from grass. Visitors can enter the milking parlour and help to milk the cows and see the calves. Find out how their four stomachs enable them to digest grass. Samples of dairy products will be provided for tasting and a local cheese maker will explain the art and science beneath the rind.
With thanks to Andrew and Rachel Giles
The broadcaster and champion of artisan foods presents her first cookbook, sharing 100 simple, seasonal recipes from her home in Monmouthshire, with ideas for every occasion from brunch to dinner and special feasts (there is rhubarb vodka involved). Andrew Montgomery took the photographs which, Kate says, “are intrinsic to the book”. They discuss how words and pictures came together to create the right tone, atmosphere and content – in all Welsh weathers. Kate Humble’s book Thinking on my Feet was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize. Andrew Montgomery’s clients include Country Living, Telegraph magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Waitrose and Delicious. His latest book is Winter Gardens. Kitty Corrigan is former deputy editor of Country Living magazine.
Trevithel Court is a traditional mixed farm and David James is the third generation of his family to work there, along with his son Will. Their orchards supply apples for Bulmers and other cider producers in Herefordshire and Wales. Walk among the apple trees, pollinated by bees, look inside a beehive, learn about cider production and sample some cider and honey. The farm also produces grass-fed beef cattle and arable crops. See the animals and machinery used for production and harvesting. Agronomist Jonathon Harrington leads the tour.
With thanks to David and Catherine James
In his follow-up to The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World, the environmental campaigner chronicles how determined individuals are proving that the crisis in our oceans can be reversed. We need to step aside and let nature repair the damage: whether it is the overfishing of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic or the destruction of coral gardens by dredgers in Lyme Bay. Trawling and dredging create more CO2 than the aviation industry and damage vast areas of the continental shelves, stopping them soaking up carbon. We need to fish in different ways, where we fish at all. Charles Clover is Executive director and co-founder of the Blue Marine Foundation. In conversation with Andy Fryers, Sustainability Director at Hay Festival.