COP27 and food systems - what happened?
COP27 is over. Temperatures continue to rise. There's still no consensus about the role of land use and agriculture. Did anything good emerge from Sharm El-Sheikh in terms of food systems & climate change? ffinlo Costain is joined by three experts: Patty Fong, Program Director, Climate and Health and Well-being, Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Adele Jones, executive director, Sustainable Food Trust, Chantal Wei-Ying Clement, deputy director, IPES Food.
November 28, 2022
Food forests & vertical real estate
This is the third programme in a series in which I talk to regenerative dairy producers from around the world. ffinlo Costain speaks to Phyllis Van Amburgh, who farms at Dharma Lea in Sharon Springs, New York, USA, about epigenetics and vertical real estate - and to Charlotte and Russell Heald, from Dunkeld Farm in the Tararua region of the north island in New Zealand, about food forests and circular farming systems. The Regen Dairy project was set up by FAI Farms and Farmwel, in collaboration with Unilever, Barry Callebaut, Arla Foods, Woolworth South Africa and Ben & Jerry’s. This programme was roduced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
November 17, 2022
The one with Prof Sir Dieter Helm CBE
ffinlo Costain talks to Sir Dieter Helm CBE. Dieter is Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford. He was the Independent Chair of the UK's Natural Capital Committee, and was awarded a knighthood for services to the environment, energy and utilities policy. This discussion is a masterclass for people aiming to influence UK Government policy on agriculture and the environment. Helm is hugely engaging as he sets out his influential thinking and establishes sound criteria for support and opposition.
November 04, 2022
Carbon tunnel vision
Carbon tunnel vision is a nasty disease that can create a strongly distorted perspective on agricultural land use and food production. This programme will help to remedy the condition, by showing that land use decisions are complex. ffinlo Costain is joined by Adele Jones, the deputy chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, and by Ashleigh Bright, a food systems and sustainability scientist, based in New Zealand.
October 19, 2022
Regen Dairy round-the-world tour (edited)
This is an edited recording of the Regen Dairy round-the-world tour, which took place on 5th October 2022. We were thrilled to host this opportunity to circumnavigate the globe with four very different regen dairy farmers, all of whom are quite exceptional in their own way. Our panellists were Blake Alexandre is a fourth generation dairy farmer from Alexandre Family Farm near Crescent City, California, USA. Richard Park is from Sizergh Farm, near Kendal in the UK, which has probably been farmed since the Vikings colonised Britain. Mark Anderson is a fifth generation farmer from South Otago, New Zealand. And Annabelle Gérard is a first generation dairy farmer from Lower Saxony in Germany. The webinar was hosted by ffinlo Costain.
October 06, 2022
Small abattoirs are essential infrastructure, but they're in serious decline - seen by the UK Government as a 'nice to have' that serves the middle classes, rather than a 'must have' to deliver climate, biodiversity and soil security - and to support rural economies and farming communities. Another nail was recently hammered into the small abattoir coffin, as Mettrick's abattoir in Glossop closed for business. ffinlo Costain talks to John Mettrick, Master Butcher and chairman of the Abattoir Sector Group, Simon Doherty, former president of the British Veterinary Association, and Hannah Thorogood, an agroecological livestock farmer based in Lincolnshire.
September 30, 2022
Restoring water, with Walter Jehne & Caroline Grindrod
Changing the way we manage hydrology is essential if we're to restore ecological security. This programme is the recording of a Food & Global Security Network webinar called, Restoring Water Cycles. It features globally renowned soil microbiologist, Walter Jehne, from Regenerate Earth, and regenerative farming coach, Caroline Grindrod, from Roots of Nature. The discussion is chaired by ffinlo Costain.
September 22, 2022
Regeneration, not Regenesis
Jyoti Fernandes is from the UK Landworkers' Alliance and well-known as a campaigner working for the rights of small farmers and peasant farmers. Jyoti recently wrote an open letter to the Guardian writer, George Monbiot, whose book, #Regenesis, and the articles he's written to promote it, distort public awareness of regenerative solutions to the ecological crisis. In this programme, ffinlo Costain asks Jyoti why she felt 'duty bound to intervene', and why she thinks Monbiot is undermining the agroecology movement, which provides the most compelling future narrative she has found in 30 years of campaigning.
September 15, 2022
Getting off the treadmill
ffinlo Costain talks to Mark Anderson, from Westridge dairy farm, South Otago, New Zealand, and to Sophie and Dai Wilson from Wiltshire in the UK. Mark sees regenerative farming as an opportunity to decolonialise agriculture and the management changes he's made have put him back in control of his finances. Meanwhile Sophie and Dai have created a low impact model where they outwinter their dairy herd, improving their profitability and giving them more family time. This is the second in a series in which ffinlo talks to regenerative dairy producers from around the world - as part of the Regen Dairy project, set up by FAI Farms and Farmwel, in collaboration with Unilever, Barry Callebaut, Arla Foods, Woolworth South Africa and Ben & Jerry’s. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
September 01, 2022
Managing water in the landscape
Increased rainfall and storm intensity are hugely important characteristics of global temperature rises and the way land is managed can have an enormous impact on our ability to reduce flood risk. In this programme we're talking about natural flood defences and ways to manage water flows in the landscape. ffinlo Costain talks to Chris Uttley, the Stroud Valleys Natural Flood Management Officer for Stroud District Council, and Tom Johnstone, the Strategic Climate Change, Green Infrastructure and Catchments Officer for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. (The AONB's landscape and nature recovery report can be downloaded here, and Tom can be contacted at Tom.Johnstone@denbighshire.gov.uk) https://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Landscape-Nature-Recovery-ENG-Interactive.pdf mailto:Tom.Johnstone@denbighshire.gov.uk Produced by Farmwel.
August 17, 2022
Scaling regenerative dairy
This is the first in a series in which we talk to regenerative dairy producers from around the world - as part of the Regen Dairy project, set up by FAI Farms and Farmwel, in collaboration with Unilever, Barry Callebaut, Arla Foods, Woolworth South Africa and Ben & Jerry’s. In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Blake Alexandre, from Alexandre Family Farm, California, USA, and Bryce Cunningham, from Mossgiel Farm in Scotland, about the challenges of scaling regenerative dairy. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
August 04, 2022
A small farm future
Many governments see farm expansion as the future of agriculture, but there's a grave risk that this will simply embed the challenges inherent in today's food system. Instead we need diversity - and small farms play a critical a role. ffinlo Costain talks to Chris Smaje, author of A Small Farm Future, published by Chelsea Green. Produced by Farmwel.
July 21, 2022
Lessons from Ukraine (food systems)
What does war in Ukraine, and the global response to conflict, tell us about global food production and food systems more broadly? ffinlo Costain is joined by Chantal Wei-Ying Clément, deputy director of IPES Food, Joona Mikkola from Soil Watch and Sue Pritchard from the UK's Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. Produced by Farmwel, with support from FAI Farms.
July 08, 2022
Most people live in cities, urban conurbations and housing estates rather than in cottages next to farms. How can we shorten supply chains into cities, bring food production to urban areas, and support volunteers and micro business opportunities for citizens, farmers and growers? ffinlo Costain is joined by Jeremy Iles from the Urban Agriculture Consortium and Rachel Hammond from Edge. Produced by Farmwel.
July 05, 2022
The food price crisis
The war in Ukraine has sparked a food price crisis with devastating impacts being felt around the world - but while Russia lit the touch paper, this crisis was predicted and could have been avoided. ffinlo Costain is joined by Professor Jennifer Clapp, Thin Lei Win and Margot Gibbs. Jennifer is an expert for Brussels-based IPES-Food and the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo in Ontario - she's also Vice Chair of the High Level Panel of Experts on food security and nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security. Margot and Thin are food system reporters for Lighthouse Reports, a non-profit investigative journalism group, which is based in the Netherlands. Produced by Farmwel.
June 13, 2022
Localism & nationalism
A regenerative agricultural and environmental transformation depends upon a resurgence of localism - but localism is also championed by far right politicians who pronounce their own vision centred on a tough approach to immigration. How we can safeguard food systems in a more ecologically chaotic world with accelerating human migration? Can we find a popular but inclusive vision of national localism? ffinlo Costain is joined by Natalie Bennett of the Green Party of England and Wales, and by Sue Pritchard, the chief Executive of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. Produced by Farmwel.
May 30, 2022
The one with Six inches of Soil
In this programme, we discuss a feature film, Six Inches of Soil, which is currently in production in the UK. The film is being crowd-funded by organisations and individuals, and its producers want to ensure that - even as we are driven towards an ecological precipice fuelled in part by an industrialised food system - we recognise that the dirt beneath our feet is what feeds us and makes our societies strong. ffinlo Costain is joined by Colin Ramsay, the director of Six Inches of Soil, and by Claire Mackensie, the film's producer. Produced by Farmwel.
May 04, 2022
The politics of protein
In this programme, we're talking about meat, fish and protein alternatives - and the competing claims about sustainability that are made by individuals and vested interests across the food sector and around the world. IPES Food has released a new report, The Politics of Protein, and to discuss it, ffinlo Costain is joined from the USA by lead author, Phil Howard, and from Brussels by the director of IPES Food, Nick Jacobs. LINKS: https://twitter.com/IPESfood http://www.ipes-food.org/pages/politicsofprotein https://twitter.com/ffinlocostain https://twitter.com/NickJacobs11
April 07, 2022
Forestry & land use
Demand for new woodland is growing for everything from timber to carbon sequestration. But forests take up space - and competition for land is increasing. How do we balance the demands of food production, nature, housing and infrastructure, with the need for new woodland and forest products? ffinlo Costain is joined by Andrew Heald, a consultant specialising in sustainable forests and plantations, and by Martin Lines, the chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network. Produced by Farmwel.
March 24, 2022
The meat paradox
In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Rob Percival, author of The Meat Paradox. We are not wild animals and yet we still kill other sentient creatures and eat them in their billions. Rob charts our relationship with meat, from the scavenging of carcasses on an ancient savannah to the industrialised systems that produce much of the meat we consume today. He finds that emotional conflict has challenged human consciousness for many thousands of years. Produced by Farmwel.
March 10, 2022
The one with Hodmedods
In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Josiah Meldrum, co-founder of the successful on-line retailer, Hodmedods. Josiah works with British farms to source top quality beans, pulses and grains - particularly less well-known foods, like the fava bean, grown in Britain since the Iron Age, but now largely forgotten. We talk about why Josiah thinks of Hodmedods as an agroecological retail business and about the need for strong supplier relationships. We discuss the benefits of scaling out rather than up, and the failure of fellow online food retailer, Farmdrop. Produced by Farmwel.
February 23, 2022
Soil & satellites
In this programme we focus on the UK and East Africa and discuss how the carbon market can channel finance from carbon sequestration and storage to help fund broader land regeneration. ffinlo Costain speaks to Thomas Gent, the founder of Gentle Farming who works with the Agreena carbon payment platform, and Joona Mikkola, a regenerative agriculture specialist based in Uganda who founded Soil Watch, which monitors carbon levels and soil health using satellite data. Produced by Farmwel.
February 08, 2022
Carbon farming is on the rise - but how does the carbon market work, and how does carbon sequestration and storage help to finance the delivery of other ecosystem services. ffinlo Costain is joined from Scotland by Charlie Davis, a Natural Capital Advisor specialising in the management of natural assets for Savills, the farms, estates and agricultural land agents. Produced by Farmwel.
January 26, 2022
Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration
Despite the absence of food systems, soil and agriculture from the top negotiating table at COP26, these subjects did, at last, emerge as key themes at side events inside the COP conference village. The Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration - initiated by Nourish Scotland and IPES Food - was a key factor in pushing this focus on food systems up the policy agenda. ffinlo Costain discusses the purpose, legacy and future of the Declaration with Pete Ritchie, Executive Director of Nourish Scotland, and Chantal Clément, Deputy Director, of IPES Food. Produced by Farmwel.
December 13, 2021
Good COP, Bad COP?
Was COP26 in Glasgow a success? In this programme we do a stock take. What was achieved at COP26 – in terms of global warming and agricultural land use? What was missing? What was fundamentally misunderstood at the top table? And what do we need to do next, to ensure that an agroecological transition is lifted firmly onto the negotiating table at COP27 and beyond? ffinlo Costain, the founder of the Food & Global Security Network, is joined by Sue Pritchard, the chief executive of the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission, and Patrick Holden, the founder of the Sustainable Food Trust. Produced by Farmwel.
December 06, 2021
Vicki Hird & Rebugging The Planet
ffinlo Costain talks to Vicki Hird - a farming expert and author who's been at the heart of environmental, food and agricultural policy discussions for over 30 years. Her new book, Rebugging The Planet, is set to be the must-buy stocking filler for Christmas this year. We discuss the new book, which shows us that bugs are beautiful, charismatic and economically valuable. We also discuss food and farming policy, and how the new post-Brexit farm payments will affect agricultural land use in England. Vicki Hird is also head of sustainable farming at Sustain. Produced by Farmwel.
October 05, 2021
Are farm animals emotional?
Do farm animals experience emotions, or are the behaviours people perceive as emotions purely an instinctive response? Do cows, for example, feel happy or depressed? And should a farm animal's ability to react instinctively, or to respond emotionally, affect the way that we care for and handle livestock? ffinlo Costain, the chief executive of Farmwel, is joined by Professor David Main from the Royal Agricultural University, and by Rachel Horler, a cattle farmer from Maundrils Farm in Somerset, UK. Produced by Farmwel.
September 21, 2021
Stacking sheep & solar energy
The best solutions for land use deliver multiple outcomes - especially in places where land is relatively scarce and expensive. What if we could combine the farming of electricity from the sun with land management that regenerates the soil and produces high quality nutrition? ffinlo Costain talks to Trent Hendricks and Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall. Trent is from Cabriejo Ranch in Missouri, USA, where he produces lamb and beef with certification from the American Grassfed Association and the Allan Savory Land to Market programme. Sophy lives in Wiltshire and provides community engagement and communications advice for the UK solar industry. Produced by Farmwel.
August 18, 2021
Do we need an IPCC for food?
This year's UN Food Systems Summit is being seen by many as an opportunity to define the future of food. The summit may also be the launch pad for a new science & policy interface - what's being described as an 'IPCC for Food'. But do we really need an IPCC for Food? Shouldn't we simply better fund and better utilise the mechanisms we already have? ffinlo Costain is joined by food systems experts from IPES Food. Jennifer Clapp, from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, is part of the UN's High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. Molly Anderson is a specialist in hunger, food systems, and multi-actor collaborations for sustainability from Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. Produced by Farmwel.
August 02, 2021
From greed to green
In this programme, ffinlo Costain discusses corporate sustainability and green wash, with Benet Northcote and Ed Gillespie. Is it possible for large companies to become genuinely sustainable - or will greed always triumph over green? Benet is a senior adviser at Seahorse Environmental and the deputy chair of the UK's Conservative Environment Network. Prior to that he was the director of corporate responsibility for the John Lewis Partnership, and worked as deputy private secretary to The Prince of Wales. Ed Gillespie is a facilitator for the Forward Institute and co-founder of the sustainability agency, Futerra. He is also a co-presenter of Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts and a director of Greenpeace UK. Produced by Farmwel and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission.
July 19, 2021
Award-winning adaptive multi-paddock grazing
FAI Farms and McDonald's UK & Ireland have won Compassion in World Farming's prestigious Sustainable Food and Farming Award for their work on regenerative beef. This is a four year project, centred on Adaptive Multi-paddock Grazing. The results have been outstanding - so what are they - how have they been achieved - and what has FAI learned along the way? ffinlo Costain talks to FAI's Director of Regenerative Agriculture, Clare Hill, and their assistant farm manager, Silas Hedley-Lawrence. We also introduce new regen ag training, available online at FAI.Academy - and give you a Farm Gate discount code. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
July 08, 2021
Food builds community
This podcast is about the power and importance of communities. To address the climate emergency, there is an urgent need to cede power to ordinary people so that they can design and deliver the changes necessary in their neighbourhoods. Poverty remains a significant barrier for all governments in achieving net zero. Community-led projects, for example centred on food, can all deliver carbon reductions, while also rewarding people with a lower cost of living, and the experience and confidence to work together for even greater change. ffinlo Costain speaks to James Goodman, Director of Partnerships and Learning for the Local Trust, Bryony Boyle from Selby Big Local, and Chris Blake the catalyst behind Project Skyline in the Brecon Beacons. Produced by Farmwel and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission.
July 05, 2021
Carbon & water
The impact of climate change is already being felt by communities, through flooding and droughts. Farmers are the first responders to these impacts, as well as being one of the few economic sectors that can act as a sink, rather than a source, of carbon. So what are farmers doing happen differently on farms, and how can the UK speed this change? ffinlo Costain is joined by Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the UK Environment Agency, and Stuart Roberts, the deputy president of the National Farmers' Union. Land Unlocked features high-level speakers and explores the challenges of delivering real action at this year’s COP26 conference. Produced by Farmwel and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission.
June 28, 2021
Optimism & story-telling
Land Unlocked is a podcast collaboration between Farm Gate and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. This occasional series will feature a range of high-level speakers exploring the challenges of delivering real action at this year’s COP26 conference and other major global events taking place in 2021. Programmes will be broadcast on the Farm Gate channel. In this programme, ffinlo Costain discusses land use, economics, optimism and story-telling, with Christiana Figueres and Professor Tim Jackson. Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognised leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016. Today she is the co-founder of Global Optimism, & co-host of the podcast 'Outrage & Optimism'. Her new book is called, 'The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis', which she co-authored with Tim Rivett-Carnac. Professor Tim Jackson is an ecological economist and writer. Since 2016 he has been Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, at the University of Surrey. Between 2004 and 2011 Tim was Economics Commissioner for the UK Sustainable Development Commission where his work culminated in a ground-breaking book Prosperity without Growth. Produced by Farmwel and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission.
June 13, 2021
Indigenous with the earth
In this programme we delve into the origins of regenerative agriculture, and what it means to be 'indigenous with the earth'. What is this knowledge? Where does it come from? Can anyone claim ownership over regenerative principles? ffinlo Costain talks to Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, President of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance. Originally from Guatemala, Regi lives in Minnesota, USA, where he trains farmers in the production of regenerative poultry. Regi's book, In the Shadow of the Green Man, weaves together stories from his upbringing in revolution-torn Guatemala, with his vision for regenerative farming. Produced by Farmwel.
June 07, 2021
Saving Sierra Leone's fish
In this programme we visit Sierra Leone. We discuss how this West African country managed to stop Chinese, Russian, Korean and European vessels plundering their fish stocks, how stakeholders built a sustainable fisheries programme, and the challenges for international organisations such as the World Bank. We also address the controversy over Sierra Leone's new Chinese-funded harbour project. ffinlo Costain talks to Salieu Sankoh, the co-ordinator of the World Bank-funded West African Regional Fisheries Programme in Sierra Leone, and to Phil Gawne, an advisor to the Program, and a former fisheries minister for Isle of Man Government. Produced by Farmwel.
May 31, 2021
MSC Certified - How does it work?
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international NGO working to protect oceans and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. The Netflix film Seaspiracy concluded that sustainable seafood doesn't exist - but the MSC disagrees. Currently, 16% of the world's wild caught fish is certified and carries its blue MSC ecolabel, and the organisation aims to have 30% engaged in its programme by 2030. ffinlo Costain speaks to George Clark, the MSC's programme director for the UK and Ireland. They discuss what sustainable seafood is, how it's certified, how managed fisheries can restore fish stocks, and why the MSC refused to take part in Seaspiracy.
May 24, 2021
From emergency closure to success
The Isle of Man is home to one of the most successful sustainable shell fish fisheries in the British Isles. Developed over a period of 30 years, their Marine Nature Reserve now accounts for 52% of Manx coastal waters, and their Ramsey Bay scallops are the biggest in Britain. ffinlo Costain talks to Phil Gawne, former Fisheries Minister of the Isle of Man Government, and to Peter Duncan, IOMG's Senior Marine Environment Officer. Produced by Farmwel.
May 17, 2021
Aquaculture - An insider's view
Since 2013 more seafood has been produced globally in aquaculture systems than from wild caught fisheries. The farming of fish at scale has come with costs as well as benefits, and as a relatively young industry, aquaculture has followed a steep learning curve. ffinlo Costain speaks to Tony Wall, the founder of the Fish Vet Group (now PHARMAQ), who helped to put fish sentience on the map. ffinlo asks where aquaculture came from, how it developed, and how the industry can overcome its current challenges? Inspired by Seaspiracy, this programme is part of a mini-series in which we're talking about the future of ocean food. Produced by Farmwel.
May 05, 2021
What next for ocean food?
In the wake of Seaspiracy, we're running a series of programmes about the future of wild and farmed seafood. The vast majority of wild caught fish are now harvested by industrial-scale trawlers using vast and often indiscriminate nets and bottom trawling. At the same time aquaculture, which has scaled so rapidly, has come under fire for high levels of waste and pollution and for poor welfare. So, what's next for ocean food? ffinlo Costain is joined by Ruth Layton who, as a former director of FAI Farms, has spent 25 years studying agricultural and aquacultural systems, and by Ashleigh Bright, an expert in the science of sustainability in global food systems. Produced by Farmwel.
April 20, 2021
Dairy farming - Putting agroecology into practice
This is the final programme in our recent series about agroecological agriculture. ffinlo Costain talks to David Finlay from The Ethical Dairy in Dumfries and Galloway, and Bryce Cunningham from Mossgiel Farm in Ayrshire. The conversation focusses on building a market for direct liquid milk sales, and on cow with calf dairying. This series is produced by Farmwel, supporting the 10 Years for Agroecology campaign run by the Soil Association, and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission's Farming for Change project. Other episodes focus on beef, mixed farming, vegetables and horticulture, and arable farming. #FarmerAmbassador #agroecology #FarmingforChange
April 13, 2021
Do we need a new Agroecology Development Bank?
Do we need a new state-owned Agroecology Development Bank for Britain? The Food, Farming & Countryside Commission thinks so. Their new report, 'Farming Smarter: Investing in our Future', says that an ADB would speed the transition to fair and nature-friendly farming – by filling the current gap in available finance, and building knowledge about agroecological agriculture in the financial sector. ffinlo Costain is joined by report co-author Tony Greenham, and by George Young, an agroecological farmer from Fobbing Farm in Essex and a former banker in the City of London. Produced by Farmwel.
March 30, 2021
Diversity in agriculture & animal sciences
In this programme we talk about racism and discuss how to improve diversity in British agriculture and animal sciences. We consider how to successfully encourage more of our black, Asian and minority ethnic population to enjoy the countryside. ffinlo Costain is joined by Navaratnam Partheeban, a dairy vet who co-founded the British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society, and Bushra Abu-Helil, a second year PhD student focussed on poultry health & welfare, and vice chair of the BAME Ecologist Network. Produced by Farmwel.
March 22, 2021
What's the difference?
What's the difference between agroecology and regenerative agriculture? And what about holistic grazing, organic, no-till farming, or adaptive multi-paddock grazing? In this programme we get to the bottom of the terminology. We also discuss how to get started in regenerative agriculture. ffinlo Costain is joined by Caroline Grindrod from Roots of Nature, and Kelly Watson from FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel.
March 15, 2021
Veg & Horticulture - Putting agroecology into practice
This is the fourth programme in our series about agroecological agriculture. ffinlo Costain talks to Sinead Fenton from Aweside Farm in East Sussex, and to Joe Rolfe, the general manager at RB Organic Ltd in Norfolk. Sinead and Joe are Agroecology Ambassadors for the Soil Association. This series is produced by Farmwel, supporting the 10 Years for Agroecology campaign run by the Soil Association, and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission's Farming for Change project. Other episodes focus on beef, mixed farming, dairy, and arable farming. #FarmerAmbassador #agroecology #FarmingforChange
March 08, 2021
Arable farming - Putting agroecology into practice
This is the third in our agroecology series. ffinlo Costain talks to George Young from Fobbing Farm in Essex, and Johnnie Balfour from Balbirnie Farm in Fife. George and Johnnie are Agroecology Ambassadors for the Soil Association. This series is produced by Farmwel, supporting the 10 Years for Agroecology campaign run by the Soil Association, and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission's Farming for Change project. Other episodes focus on beef farming, mixed farming, dairy, and horticulture & veg. #FarmerAmbassador #agroecology #FarmingforChange
February 23, 2021
ALT Meat - A health & food systems perspective
This is the first of two programmes investigating the rise of meat alternatives. ffinlo Costain talks to Raychel E Santo, a senior research programme coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future. Raychel is the lead author on the research paper, Considering Plant-Based Meat Substitutes and Cell-Based Meats: A Public Health and Food Systems Perspective. Produced by Farmwel.
February 15, 2021
Mixed farming - Putting agroecology into practice
This is the second in our agroecology series, and in this episode we're focussing on mixed farming. ffinlo Costain talks to Ben Andrews from Broadward Hall in Herefordshire, and Robert Wilson from Cowbog Farm in the Scottish Borders. Ben and Robert are Agroecology Ambassadors for the Soil Association. This series is produced by Farmwel, supporting the 10 Years for Agroecology campaign run by the Soil Association, and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission's Farming for Change project. Other episodes focus on beef farming, arable, dairy, and horticulture & veg. #FarmerAmbassador #agroecology #FarmingforChange
February 08, 2021
Regen Question Time 2 - Arable & livestock
In the second of Farm Gate's Regenerative Agriculture Question Time podcasts, ffinlo Costain is joined by Clare Hill, shepherd and director of regenerative agriculture at FAI Farms, George Young, a regenerative arable producer from Fobbing Farm, Essex, and Caroline Grindrod from the regenerative agriculture consultancy, Roots of Nature. #Arable #Wheat #Livestock #Ruminants Produced by Farmwel.
February 01, 2021
Farming Beef - Putting agroecology into practice
This is the first of five programmes in which we showcase farmers who are putting agroecology into practice. In this episode we're focussing on beef production. ffinlo Costain talks to Nikki Yoxall from Howe Mill Farm in Aberdeenshire, and Denise Walton from Peelham Farm in Berwickshire. Nikki and Denise are Agroecology Ambassadors for the Soil Association. This series is produced by Farmwel, supporting the 10 Years for Agroecology campaign run by the Soil Association and the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission. Other episodes will focus on mixed farming, arable, dairy, and horticulture & veg. #FarmerAmbassador #agroecology #FarmingforChange
January 25, 2021
The one with Will Harris
White Oak Pastures is a 152-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia, USA. In 1995, Will Harris began the transition away from industrial agricultural techniques and started redesigning his farm as a living ecosystem. Will Harris talks to ffinlo Costain about his life as a commodity cattleman and what made him change the way he farms. He describes the dark early days and reflects on how his success brought his family back home, and breathed new life into his community. He explains why he gets fed up with scientists, who 'bicker and fight all the time' over how to measure carbon, when the benefits are there in the ground for all to see. Will also offers up words of wisdom for President Biden's new Agriculture Secretary. Produced by Farmwel.
January 19, 2021
Regenerative finance: The one with Robyn O'Brien
In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Robyn O'Brien, the best-selling author of The Unhealthy Truth, who in September 2020 was named in the Forbes Impact 50, a list of the top impact investors in the USA. Robyn's TED talks have received over a million views. The discussion centres on Robyn's new investment fund, RePlant Capital, which is based in the USA and worth $250m. RePlant’s flagship fund, its Soil Fund, is focussed on the transition of US farmland to regenerative agriculture. Produced by Farmwel.
December 17, 2020
Regen Rock Star
Farm Gate host, ffinlo Costain, interviews Leontino Balbo Junior (Balbo Group), who produces 35% of the world's organic sugar. Speaking direct from Brazil, Leontino explains how he transformed his farm (http://www.canaverde.com.br/) from standard agriculture to a high yield regenerative success story. Produced by Farmwel.
December 09, 2020
Is a progressive UK trade policy possible?
The new UK Trade & Agriculture Commission was set up by the Department of International Trade to guide ministers as they develop a policy that balances the need for independent trade deals with the ambitions of the new Agriculture Act and the coming Environment Bill. In this podcast we ask, is a progressive UK trade and agriculture policy possible? ffinlo Costain speaks to Tom West, UK Environment Lead at Client Earth, and Angela Francis, WWF UK's Chief Advisor on Economics and Economic Development. Produced by Farmwel.
December 01, 2020
Tackling antimicrobial resistance
It's World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, so we're doing our bit. What is antimicrobial resistance - why is it a problem - what are the drivers - and what can we do about it? ffinlo Costain is joined by Laura Higham from Vet Sustain and by Øistein Thorsen the chief executive of FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
November 24, 2020
How green is the new CAP?
Despite the early green ambitions, the new Common Agricultural Policy may end up looking rather like business as usual. But, following policy delays, the CAP will now be delivered under the EU presidency of Ursula von der Leyen. The new Commission has prioritised environmental action, and the Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal. In this programme I'm crossing the English Channel to find out what's happening with agricultural policy in mainland Europe? ffinlo Costain speaks to Nick Jacobs, the Director of IPES Food, and to Pierre-Marie Aubert, the Coordinator of the European Agriculture Initiative for IDDRI. IPES Food's influential 2019 report, Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU, can be found here. Produced by Farmwel.
November 17, 2020
English agriculture policy - Where are we now?
The UK Agriculture Bill has gone for Royal Assent, but much of the detail remains uncertain. UK producers are also concerned that food imports won't meet British environmental and farm animal welfare standards. So, where are we up to with agricultural policy reform? ffinlo Costain speaks to Shadow Farming Minister, Daniel Zeichner MP, Vicki Hird, Head of Sustainable Food and Farming Policy at Sustain, and to Simon Hoare, Conservative MP for North Dorset. Produced by Farmwel.
November 10, 2020
Regen Question Time
This programme is for every farmer who's ever thought about transitioning to regenerative agriculture. It's our first Regen Question Time and in it our experts set out to answer questions submitted by farmers by Twitter, email, and through the Primal Web forum. Regenerative agriculture requires a complete mindset shift. Instead of rules there are principles, which can make transitioning process seem daunting. To help with this, every six or eight weeks, we'll put your questions to regen experts. Our intention is to help you make decisions about the future of your farm business. (The insights will also be interesting for everyone who wants to know more about regenerative agriculture.) In this first Regen Question Time, ffinlo Costain talks to Caroline Grindrod and Alex Tomlinson. Produced by Farmwel.
October 05, 2020
Scaling regenerative agriculture
In this programme ffinlo Costain discusses Forum for the Future's new report, 'Growing Our Future', with report author, Lesley Mitchell, Forum's Associate Director for Sustainable Nutrition. Growing Our Future concentrates on scaling regenerative agriculture in the United States. It describes threats and opportunities surrounding regen and makes a series of recommendations for a successful regenerative transformation. While the report is centred on the USA its findings and recommendations are just as relevant for farmers, investors and policy-makers in other nations. Produced by Farmwel.
September 22, 2020
What's changing at FAI Farms?
FAI Farms has worked with big name global food brands to embed sustainability at the heart of their supply chains for more than 20 years. Recently the FAI brand and business was bought by the management. In this podcast ffinlo Costain talks to Øistein Thorsen, FAI's Chief Executive, and to Carly Scott, their director of sustainable operations.
September 09, 2020
What's happening to food & agriculture in Wales?
Since 2017 the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission has helped to shape the UK's conversation about food - where it comes from, how it's produced, how far it travels, and where and how it gets sold and eaten. In this programme we discuss the FFCC's Wales Inquiry Report - the Wales Field Guide for Future Generations. Joining ffinlo Costain are Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive of the FFCC, and Jane Davidson, chair of the Commission's Wales Inquiry, and former Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in the Welsh Government. Produced by Farmwel.
August 04, 2020
The one with the WHO & IPES Food
Farm Gate host ffinlo Costain discusses Covid 19 and the crisis in our food systems with Dr David Nabarro, Special Envoy of the World Health Organization Director-General on Covid-19, and Prof Melissa Leach CBE, a member of the Brussels-based International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, otherwise known as IPES-Food. The discussion includes zoonotic spillover, One Health, and the strengths and weaknesses in the global food system. Produced by Farmwel.
July 06, 2020
The Carbon Cowboys
In this podcast, ffinlo Costain talks to Carbon Cowboys producer and director, Peter Byck. Carbon Cowboys is series of 10 films about regenerative agriculture and adaptive multi-paddock grazing. They demonstrate the enormous potential of this model of land use and introduce us to some remarkable stories. Peter Byck is a film-maker and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, where he's leading a multi-million dollar research project focused on regenerative grazing, soil health & soil carbon storage. Produced by Farmwel.
June 15, 2020
Regenerative agriculture has captured the imagination of producers and citizens around the world. But the focus is almost exclusively on land. In this programme we ask whether regenerative farming principles can be transposed to the ocean - and if so, at what scale? Featuring Dylan Walker, chief executive of the World Cetacean Alliance, and Alex Tomlinson, a vet and regenerative agriculture specialist. Produced by Farmwel.
May 26, 2020
Regen agriculture for kids - The #Homeschool podcast
Regen agriculture for kids Farm Gate has gone all #homeschool. In this short programme we explain the basics of regenerative agriculture for primary school age kids. We answer questions about the sun, the rain, dandelions and cow poo - and we ask what's the most important animal in the world? There are even a couple of experiments you can try at home. The programme features Alex Tomlinson - an amazing mine of information who's working on regenerative farming projects right across Britain. Produced by Farmwel.
May 11, 2020
Mass mobilisation, coronavirus & climate change
Coronavirus has generated a monumental response. Political parties philosophically opposed to the Big State have intervened in our lives to an enormous extent. What can we learn from the way that coronavirus has been communicated and the speed of society's response? How can we apply this knowledge to other public health emergencies, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, which also threaten the existence of human society as we know it. This programme features Jason Wojciechowski, Creative Director at Corelab and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Impact Communication, and Øistein Thorsen, director of FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
May 04, 2020
Happy Cow Milk Co. New Zealand
Happy Cow Milk Company, run by Glen Herud, is a cow and calf dairy business based in Christchurch, New Zealand. It opened in 2014, but after a few years the company ran out of cash. What happened next was truly remarkable. Glen's story went viral, and ordinary people from all over the world, chipped in to help keep the business alive. Now following a fundamental and revolutionary redesign of the distribution system, Happy Cow 2.0 is ready to launch. In this programme Glen Herud tells his story. Produced by Farmwel.
April 28, 2020
Sheep lameness & the 5-Point Plan
Sheep lameness is a painful symptom that severely reduces mobility. It's regarded by many as endemic - ever present, regardless of the efforts made to curb new infections. But is lameness endemic? Can better monitoring and treatment effectively eradicate it from flocks? In this episode we discuss how to implement the nationally-adopted FAI Five Point Plan - with Ruth Clements, head of veterinary programmes from Benchmark Animal Health, and by Clare Hill, the farm manager at FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
April 20, 2020
Food at the front line
Coronavirus has led to lock down, the loss of work, jobs and income - it has forced people with little or no savings to turn to charities and institutions - just to be able to eat. Food aid providers, already working to capacity, have had to swiftly adapt their service models to cope with the influx of new, fearful, hungry, and potentially infected, people. In this programme, Farm Gate speaks to three people working to provide food at the front line of the social crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic: Dee Woods from Granville Community Kitchen (Kilburn, London), Greg Silverman, Executive Director of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (New York City), and Mark Game, Chief Executive of The Bread and Butter Thing (Greater Manchester, UK). Produced by Farmwel.
April 13, 2020
What does 'food security' actually mean?
'Food security' is suddenly on the agenda - but what is it? Was it ever about calories & cheap food for the masses? And if it was, isn't it time that we redefined food security for the modern world - recognising the essential role that land use, food system resilience, and nutrition play in ensuring that all citizens can eat, and eat well. This programme features Vicki Hird from Sustain, Professor Tim Benton from Chatham House, and Patrick Holden from the Sustainable Food Trust. Produced by Farmwel.
April 07, 2020
Panic buying - a rational reaction to crisis?
In this programme we're looking at the psychology of panic buying - and asking the question, is our food system resilient enough to cope? The media has been full of food jeopardy & empty shelves, but isn't panic buying an entirely reasonable response to crisis? We've been watching this modern-day plague unfold since the start of the year, and the dramatic lock downs were trailed for weeks before they were enacted. Despite the abrupt shift in consumer behaviour (we're all eating at home now) supermarkets are generally well-stocked, and farm shops are doing a roaring trade. I'm joined by Jo White from Human Behaviour Change for Animals - and by Roland Bonney, a co-founder of FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel.
March 31, 2020
What does Less & Better mean?
The term Less & Better is frequently used by NGOs when trying to address consumption patterns to deliver sustainable meat and dairy. But what does Less & Better mean? And is it really as unifying as the NGOs would like to believe? This programme features Dr Sara Place, Chief Sustainability Officer at Elanco Animal Health, and former senior director for the United States National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and by Øistein Thorsen, the director of global sustainable food systems consultancy FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel.
March 23, 2020
Why are facts not enough?
Why are facts no longer enough to change attitudes & behaviours? How can we communicate new ideas & information in the modern world? How can we persuade people to make the changes necessary to combat environmental & supply chain challenges? In this programme we look at the psychology of Human Behaviour Change. We're joined by Jo White & Suzanne Rogers from Human Behaviour Change for Animals, & by Ruth Layton, a vet & co-founder of FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel.
March 17, 2020
Farmers unite for global statement on GWP*
Farmers from across the world have issued a Joint Statement calling for governments to recognise the importance of the metric GWP*. Signatories include the National Farmers' Union, CLA, National Sheep Association, and Beef & Lamb New Zealand. While recognising that climate change is one of the most urgent challenges we face, farmers leaders are calling for the role of agricultural methane to be accurately recognised in policy and accurately accounted for in the foot-printing of agricultural emissions. ffinlo Costain speaks to Andrew Morrison the chairman of Beef & Lamb New Zealand, and to Phil Stocker, the chief executive of the UK's National Sheep Association. Produced by Farmwel.
March 06, 2020
Climate, food & national security
It's widely accepted that climate change can impact on food availability in developing countries, potentially leading to conflict. But what about developed nations such as the UK or the USA? Could our own food supplies be threatened by climate change? Could the complexity of our supply chains make us more vulnerable than we realise? ffinlo Costain speaks to Caitlin Werrell, the co-founder of the Washington-based Centre for Climate & Security, which works closely with the Pentagon, and to Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, the UK's former Climate, Energy & Security Envoy. Produced by Farmwel.
February 29, 2020
The European Chicken Commitment & KFC
Signatories to the European Chicken Commitment must move from standard intensive indoor production systems for rearing meat chickens, to more humane, extensive indoor systems by the 1st of January 2026. The Commitment has attracted widespread attention from broiler producers, and several major brands have already signed up - including KFC. How will the Commitment improve the lives and deaths of chickens reared for meat? What are the practical implications of delivering the required standards, within the established time-frame? In this programme ffinlo Costain talks to Jenny Packwood, Director of Responsibility & Reputation for KFC UK & Ireland, and to Annie Rayner and Kelly Watson, experts in broiler systems and behaviour, working at FAI Farms. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
February 23, 2020
Let's help Dominic Cummings! Radical proposals for agricultural reform
Dominic Cummings, the UK Prime Minister's strategist-in-chief, has said that he wants to shake up Government. He's asked for ideas - and it would be churlish if we didn’t offer to help. ffinlo Costain has spoken to five big beasts of the UK food & farming community: Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust), Mark Bridgeman (CLA), Sue Pritchard (RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission), Guy Smith (NFU), & Vicki Hird (Sustain). Each has two minutes to pitch their reforms, followed by a conversation about their ideas. The podcast is bursting with grand plans - and it's the perfect length for Dominic Cummings to listen to on his commute. Produced by Farmwel.
February 16, 2020
Regenerative farming - making the transition
FAI Farms runs a beef and sheep operation near Oxford, UK, which is currently undergoing a transition from an organic to a regenerative system. With baseline carbon and nature foot-printing in place, progress will be closely monitored. Input costs have already reduced, with livestock now wintering outside on grass. FAI anticipates increasing its herd/flock size while also becoming global warming neutral and boosting biodiversity. In documenting and showcasing the transition in progress, they hope to inspire other farmers and companies to join the regenerative agriculture movement. Farm Gate presenter, ffinlo Costain, talks to farm manager Clare Hill, and regenerative farmer and consultant, Caroline Grindrod, from https://www.rootsofnature.co.uk/ Produced by Farmwel.
February 07, 2020
Farming & mental illness
A farming life is generally a good life but it can be demanding & stressful. It's hardly surprising that farmers can feel isolated, depressed, or unable to cope. ffinlo Costain talks to Graham Morgan MBE, about farming, mental health, & mental illness. Graham works for the Mental Health Commission for Scotland & volunteers with HUG action for mental health. Graham's book, Start, describes his life, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It is fresh, unguarded, rather joyful, and surprisingly funny. Graham recently spoke about mental illness to a conference organised by the National Farmers' Union of Scotland. Produced by Farmwel.
February 01, 2020
Conservatives & the Environment - Interview with Sam Hall
Sam Hall is the director of the highly influential Conservative Environment Network. With nearly 60 MPs making up its parliamentary caucus, CEN is the most important and influential network of environmentally-motivated Conservative activists and politicians in the United Kingdom. Produced by Farmwel.
January 20, 2020
Ruminant methane, global warming, & GWP*
I'm talking to Professor Myles Allen & Dr John Lynch (University of Oxford), & Roland Bonney (farmer, & co-founder of FAI Farms & Benchmark Holdings). Although cattle and sheep produce methane almost constantly, the focus on their emissions is misleading – it’s the warming impact of those emissions that actually matters. Far from being unsustainable, as many people continue to argue, well-managed grass-based cattle and sheep systems can become rapidly climate neutral and help to restore biodiversity and soil health. Research by a global team of scientists based at the University of Oxford has established a new way of measuring the impacts of methane - a metric known as GWP*. This metric allows us to accurately assess the impact of ruminant methane for the first time. Produced by Farmwel.
January 08, 2020
Is vegan a dirty word?
Dr Tara Garnett (FCRN) and Caroline Grindrod (Primal Meats) join ffinlo Costain to discuss whether 'vegan' has become a dirty word? Produced by Farmwel.
January 04, 2020
Discussion - Vets & sustainability
In this panel discussion, ffinlo Costain is joined by Gudrun Ravetz (former president, British Veterinary Association), and Laura Higham (Vet Sustain). We discuss the link between animal welfare, and good environmental management and farm performance. Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
December 29, 2019
Farm vets & food sustainability
Farm Gate host, ffinlo Costain, talks to Laura Higham (FAI Farms/Vet Sustain) and Simon Doherty (British Veterinary Association). We ask how vets contribute to sustainability - and what’s the link between animal welfare, and good environmental management and performance on farms? Produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.
November 22, 2019