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... for greater sustainability and local resilience

Local Food Directory

This is our free directory to local food producers in suport of the Cornish Diet idea: 80%+ of your food produced in Cornwall. Miles better value than any supermarket : Reduction in food miles and energy use + Better for the local economy: more jobs + Increase in food security + Better animal welfare + Better social cohesiveness + Better value for money + Better deal for farmers + Better quality, fresher + Reskilling in traditional food preparation.
Free entries for Cornwall based food suppliers. Just click on 'Add new comment' describing your local food business or use the 'Contact us' form to send in your advert/ message to publish.
To comment on a producer, click on the producer item and click 'reply' at the bottom of the page.

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PaulS's picture

Sustainability in farming

We started farming 6 years ago and our goal was to run a successful farm that is also sustainable and resilient. Six years later I can say that we have done it.

First lets consider some of what is not sustainable:

- use of fossil fuels: a non-renewable resource, more than half of which is already consumed with only the much more difficult (and expensive) half yet to be extracted
- globalisation of food supplies: reliant on fossil fuels for transport, often by air, greatly contributing to Peak Oil, Climate Change, pollution and population explosion
- packaging, mainly due to non-local distribution
- exploitative distribution system absorbing much of the margin which would otherwise be invested in farming itself
- overbreeding stock for maximum size at the expense of ease of birth and other health issues, disease resistance, having to feed high protein fodder instead of grass
- monocultures: much more prone to diseases, thus having to use chemical treatment

At Cottage Farm ( we have avoided these pitfalls by

- converting to organic, thus eliminating fossil fuel fertilisers, chemicals and much reduced vet treatments
- selection of a rich mixture of old varieties of grass, legumes and herbs, all with deep roots for drought and drainage, extending growing season in both directions
- selecting traditional native breeds of catle and sheep
- converting all energy to renewables: heating, water, electricity and transport fuel, incl tractor work and deliveries
- selling exclusively to end customers to retain all of the margin and selling at or below the price of conventionals in supermarkets
- fresh meat boxes, delivered to customer doors, minimal packaging, boxes reused, delivery using renewable energy, mostly locally, plus London

Here are my proposals for converting the whole of the agricultural sector:

- change over to organic farming model - non-organic model is only a short term fix due to oil/gas depletion and escalating prices
- education for farmers to re-learn organic farming skills and achieve comparable results without the use of fertilisers
- switch all farms from fossil fuels to home grown energy from any combination of wind, solar PV, solar thermal, AD from slurry, geothermal, biodiesel to power farm machinery, heat pumps and hydro, plus on-farm energy storage
- stop selling cheap red diesel to encourage change
- revolutionise supermarket retailing by requiring every supermarket to hand over 20% of floor space to a local producers group, who would manage that part of the supermarket completely independently, except for till operation. This would combine the convenience of one-stop supermarket shopping with maximising the use of local food production.
- plus of course place high cost on carbon - why is that not happening yet?

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