‘Producing Better’ is the first in our trilogy of Eating Better films which aim to bring our “Better by Half” roadmap to life, showcasing the businesses and organisations that are putting sustainability at the heart of their operations, to make our food systems part of the solution to tackling the climate and nature crisis.
Eating Better is building a movement for change and a demand for ‘less and better’ meat. ‘Better meat’ comes from farms where animals are fed natural diets, such as grass, not imported feed, and where farmers work in tandem with nature, protecting and restoring our precious countryside and providing vital habitats for wildlife. Farms producing ‘better meat” favour the highest animal welfare and the lowest impact on the environment and where soil health is prioritised.
Our journey to build this narrative begins at Eversfield Organic, an award-winning, family-run farm, certified by Eating Better members the Soil Association and Pasture for Life. It’s an example of a food business at the very heart of a movement for change, putting the focus on “less and better” meat.
Anna Elliot, Eversfield Organic said: "Eating better resonates with us and is a driving force in our business. Farming in harmony with nature has not only brought benefits to the environment and biodiversity - our cattle also get to live a healthy life expressing natural behaviours, which is an important factor for customers looking to buy ‘better’ meat.”
Our team witnessed regenerative farming in action as we walked through fields of contented cows, who had the freedom and space to roam golden hay meadows, scattered with rare wildflowers. Grazing at will on the fresh, lush pasture and able to display natural behaviours, such as enjoying a good neck scratch against a tree trunk, or reaching to pull a leaf from a branch, to chew on something a bit different.
Moving the herd from field to field with rotational grazing is a key part of regenerative agriculture, allowing periods of recovery to protect soil and prevent erosion. Pasture-fed cattle also help to manage the land, returning nutrients to the soil as they deposit manure. This way of farming means no pesticides or artificial fertilisers and antibiotic use is minimised, which is better for animal and human health.
Mark Bury, Founder of Eversfield Organic said: “You’ve got to look after your farm in a way that nurtures the soil and delivers the grass for the herd to eat. If you do it properly, all the good things you're doing to get a traditional animal to deliver you a great meal on your plate has done a huge amount of good for the planet.”
Farming in this way boosts biodiversity: bees, butterflies and other pollinators have returned to the farm after extensive hedgerow and tree planting and careful management of the countryside. Walking across the meadows and the culm grasslands with our Eversfield hosts, our Executive Director, Simon Billing observed that “Producing better is on this field, in this landscape.”
Watch 'Producing Better':
Watch the subtitled version on our YouTube channel.
Simon Billing, Executive Director at Eating Better said: “Science tells us we need to eat less meat, but if we choose to eat meat, we can opt for "better" meat that's in touch with the land, which benefits nature, soil health and the health of the planet.”
“We were fortunate to be able to partner with Eversfield to bring all this to life and tell the story of their journey. It's a vision of where all farming could be with the right support from Government and with the right support from retailers, to champion "less and better."
With COP26 next month and a white paper on the National Food Strategy expected early next year, it’s within the Government's gift to support an overhaul of our food system. By creating the right environment for producers, retailers, food business and citizens to produce, buy and eat ‘less and better,’ we can make the transformation of our food system part of the solution to tackle climate change and nature loss, while providing better outcomes for our own health.
Keep an eye on our social media and website for the second instalment of our brand film, “Buying Better” due for release in Autumn.
A huge thank you to Eversfield Organic, John McIntyre , Lisa Hellier and Jeremy Bristow for their support in making this film possible.