Milk Trolley Challenge

Cows have been brought into an Asda supermarket by furious dairy farmers protesting against the low price they are paid for their milk.

Approximately 70 farmers took two of their cows into Asda, in Queensway, Stafford to empty milk from the shelves, police said.

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The farmers have nicknamed the protest ‘the milk trolley challenge’, and have asserted that they are not getting a reasonable price, causing them to sell for less than the cost of production.

A representative from the protest group ‘Farmers in Action’ could be heard proclaiming in the supermarket that ‘milk should not be cheaper than bottled water’.

The National Farmers Union say the supermarkets don’t have a sustainable model for what they charge the consumer for the milk, or what the farmers actually get back.

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Renewable energy: what provides the best investment?

Renewable energy projects can offer significant investment opportunities for developers, investors and landowners.

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Across Wind, Solar Photovoltaic, Biomass Heating, Anaerobic Digestion, Hydroelectric, and Ground-source Heat Pumps, it has considered factors such as development costs, value versus development costs, planning approval, development timescale and Internal Rate of Return (IRR).

2016 Pig and Poultry Fair

Innovation and technology will be the theme of next year’s Pig & Poultry Fair, with the aim of helping producers drive their businesses forward.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England event returns to the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on 10-11 May 2016, and already exhibitor bookings are being taken.Pig & Poultry Fair logo

The biennial event, which is partnered by ABN, with Poultry World as the media partner, will showcase technology and advice, covering everything from animal health and genetics to nutrition, housing, processing and marketing.

“More than 70% of visitors intended to make changes to their business following last year’s event,” said Daniel Johnson, ABN national sales manager for poultry.”

“It really is a unique chance to see the latest new equipment and services from more than 320 exhibitors, gather advice and network with other producers.”

The fair is free to attend and will host a new Energy Zone for 2016, allowing producers to find on-farm energy generation exhibitors conveniently located together.

Industry kick-starts work on Great British Food and Farming Plan

Eighty leading representatives from food and farming join Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today to discuss the future of the industry.

Eighty leading representatives from the UK food and farming industry will help develop a long-term plan for the future of food and farming at a meeting with Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today.

The industry-led 25-year plan will up the country’s ambitions for food and farming, setting out how we can grow more, buy more and sell more British food. Today’s event kick-starts the plan’s development, discussing ways to promote a British brand, grow exports, improve skills, attract high-flyers and harness data and technology so the industry can innovate, grow and create jobs.

The UK’s food and farming industry contributes more than £100 billion a year to our growing economy and employs one in eight people. Over 16,000 new food and drink products are introduced every year—second in the world only to the United States of America. Food and drink remains the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, bigger than cars and aerospace combined.

If you would like more information on Defra’s food and farming strategy or would like to participate in future industry events, please email foodpolicyunit@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

Small Wind Must Not Let DECC Throw the Baby Out With the BIG WIND Bathwater Gaia-Wind.

Johnnie Andringa, CEO of UK small wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind, today called on the Scottish Government and UK rural businesses to act now to protect the Farm Scale wind industry in the UK.

Speaking on the eve of the ministerial onshore wind summit in Glasgow – headquarters of Gaia-Wind – he said: 

“Farm Scale wind, one of the few sectors with a substantial, if shrinking, base of British manufacturers, is becoming a core element of the rural economy:  • Farm scale turbines are the embodiment of distributed energy (generation mostly for on-site use) and in many cases can be the difference between a rural business being feasible or not.  • “If DECC gets the Farm Scale wind part of the upcoming Fits review right, more than 300,000 UK farms could benefit from energy independence. But;  • “We need to act now”. He went on:  “If we are to help this vital part of our rural economy thrive, we need a re-instatement of the sub 15kW fit tier and pre-registration of turbines of less than 50kW.  “A farm scale turbine is a world away from the wind farm. Similar in scale to a mature tree, it is a unit of farm machinery, in harmony with its setting and an integral part of the farm business. The Farm Scale renewables sector needs several more years of a strong and supported home market to be able to grow to a sustainable size, providing a reliable source of support to rural business, helping farmers to cut their carbon footprint and attain energy independence, and to build up a strong export position.  “The Fits review will be preceded by a period of public consultation: Farms and other rural businesses can make a difference in helping DECC to recognise the importance of energy independence to the sector. The Scottish Government also has a big role to play here in championing onshore wind. 

 

Farmers can unlock extra income with new approach to carbon trading

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Farmers and landowners across the UK now have a chance to unlock extra income thanks to a fresh approach to carbon trading.

AR Carbon aims to improve soil fertility naturally and in doing so increase the amount of carbon stored (known as ‘sequestered’) in that soil.

This carbon can then be ‘sold’ to big businesses wishing to offset their own emissions – with 50 hectares of land typically generating an extra income of around £4,000 a year.

Traditionally individuals or companies have looked to balance their carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy, the cleaner burning of fossil fuels or planting trees.

Farmers who enter the scheme will have their soils tested to provide a baseline measurement of carbon content and will then be supported to increase this figure, with further tests done annually.

“It’s realistic to think the farmer or landowner will receive 30-40 years of potential income so it creates real sustainability for the long term future of the business.”