Farming enterprise to produce wildlife friendly food
By Andrew Merrell | 5th June 2019
Farmers from Gloucestershire are being invited to join a social enterprise aimed at promoting business practices which support wildlife.
A BBC natural history producer has launched an initiative in an effort to support farmers and reverse the "rapid decline in wildlife habitat".
Backed by some of the most high-profile faces from televisions wildlife shows - including Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Professor Alice Roberts - Tim Martin's Farm Wilder CIC specialises in what he calls a "range of wildlife friendly and sustainable meats".
Mr Packham, a conservationist and presenter, said: "Farm Wilder is a brilliant idea. It's part of a series of campaigns that are going to make a real difference to our countryside.
"Our farmland is enduring a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, because we've chosen to maximum production and cheap food.
"If there is one thing that we have to do it is improve the quality of labelling on our food because that gives us choice."
Farm Wilder's first range of products, Fritillary Butterfly Beef, Cuckoo Beef and Cuckoo Lamb, are all from farms which work to protect the endangered species listed in their titles.
The aim is to promote the work being done by many farmers to actually protect the environment as they farm, and link their products to the importance of the role they carry out.
Farmland is said to cover more than 70 per cent of the countryside and farmland bird populations have declined by more than half since 1970.
The cuckoo population has declined by 65 per cent since the 1980s and the fritillary butterfly 64 per cent since 2005 - with its range shrinking by 79 per cent since the 1970s.
Farm Wilder, which is based in Bristol, will only partner with farms which produce food that benefits wildlife, improves soil health and mitigates climate change.
Mr Martin said: "A huge reduction in the consumption of intensively produced meat is essential to tackle climate breakdown. But people don't have to be vegan - they can make a big difference by reducing the amount of meat in their diet and only eating sustainably produced meat."
"The vast majority of the countryside in Gloucestershire and beyond is managed by farmers. They are crucial part in delivering the environmental goods. Any help they can get promoting the good work they are already doing will be helpful," said David George, a spokesman for the South West for the NFU.
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