October 15th, 2014 Ethical Pork, Rural Economies

Dean Forest Food Hub ~ Linking Producers and Consumers

Want to support farmers who are raising pigs ethically? Take the Pig Pledge today and vote with your wallet every time you shop! Check out our High Welfare Directory to source meat directly from a farmer or to find a restaurant near you serving ethically produced meat.


Dean Forest Food Hub

Probably no other society, past or present, views meat consumption in the way that ours does. Non-agriculturalist cultures hold the hunt as an act of the highest spiritual significance. Pre-industrial agriculturalists keep animals with purpose; to maintain pastures and hedges, provide fertility and convert kitchen waste and orchard excess into protein rich food. In places in which humans fully understand their surroundings land, animal and human have all benefited from this relationship.

Today livestock farming no longer fits this framework and land, animal and human all suffer as a consequence. Feed for most livestock farming is intensively produced in far away lands that have been robbed of their natural biodiversity (both human and natural) for the purpose. The majority of livestock never see the outside world, most barely have freedom of movement. The fertility building benefits of their excrement become a pollution problem. Vast amounts of fossil fuel energy are needed to maintain them. The same factories enslave the human at minimum wage in jobs that degrade our own capacity for relationship with land or animal. Then, in eating this food we take into ourselves this oppression. Is it any wonder meat consumption is so closely linked to so many diseases?

Dean Forest Food Hub exists to try and bring our food system back into our lives. As something we interact with on a day to day basis many of the major problems with the way our food is produced would go away. We just wouldn’t stand for them.

We do this by linking producers to consumers via our online farmers market. Producers can talk about their production methods on the website and consumers can contact them directly to answer all their questions. It’s a super low margin model in which producers set the sale price and receive almost all of it, with an order cycle that means producers can harvest, bake and butcher efficiently. We visit farms ourselves to check that the welfare standards are just. All of our meat and dairy producers aim to source all their feed on-site. All of them utilise the excrement as fertility on their holding.

Beyond this we work to link farmers with each other, with farm tours and skill shares exchanging ideas on best practice. We aim to connect some of the dots, linking cooking classes, recipes, growing projects and foraging to try make good food more affordable and accessible at every budget. Everyone has the right to real food, and all of the nourishing benefits that come with it. We just need to step up and reclaim this right.

Website: www.deanforestfoodhub.org.uk

Email: lynne@deanforestfoodhub.org.uk

Phone: 07857482689

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