The challenges of COVID-19 for rural communities | David Drew

The last few months have been particularly difficult for rural communities as they have for the rest of the country. Obviously COVID has hit rural areas particularly hard but the issue has been made worse by this Government's pursuit of a free trade deal with the US whatever the dire consequences. This has caused consternation…

Coronavirus and Rural Communities: Labour’s Response | Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister for Food and Rural Affairs

The current pandemic has affected people’s lives and livelihoods in a way that, rare for a natural disaster in this country, has been felt in every part of the UK. Having experienced the horrors of Foot and Mouth Disease at the turn of the millennium, rural communities have seen something similar to the current lockdown…

Has Gove stolen Labour’s clothes? | Martyn Sloman

On 4th January Michael Gove made an important speech: as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs he outlined his vision for British farming after Brexit.  His speech received precious little publicity.  There has been no response to date from Labour.  There is danger here: Gove is an able politician and may well…

Rural voters and the price of milk

In recent years my campaigning activity has been limited, but having been made redundant from local government I was able at last to play an active role at the general election this year. I hit the streets with gusto wearing my ex-council demographer hat to find out the lie of the land. Now, being a…

The long and the short of food and farming

The challenge for farming often gets defined in the ‘here and now’: the dairy crisis of 2012, the continuing impacts of the Somerset floods, last year’s cheap imports of lamb or this year’s beef prices, or just the need to get this season’s crops safely in and put a smile on the bank manager’s face.…

There are food producers we can trust

Being no stranger to a late night kebab, it came as no surprise when I received a gloating text message from my Mum – ‘well it serves you right, what did you think was in it?!’ It was in many ways a fair response to the news that horsemeat has entered our food chain. It…