The Pasture-fed Livestock Association (PFLA) is the first livestock farmer group to join the Eating Better alliance of more than 60 organisations, from Compassion in World Farming to Greenpeace and the Royal Society for Public Health, who all campaign for the consumption of less and better meat and dairy.
Eating Better is calling for a reduction in the amount of meat and dairy people eat, while championing gold standards for the meat and dairy that they do consume.
Calls have grown louder over the past year to reduce the amount of meat and dairy that is eaten to address the environmental and health impacts of diets. The Eating Better alliance is calling for a move away from intensive industrial systems of livestock to more extensive farming, like the grass-fed system championed by the PFLA.
'We have followed the Eating Better campaign with interest over the years as we see great opportunity in engaging with the alliance to further bring our aims and aspirations together,' explains Russ Carrington, PFLA general manager.
'Meat from animals that have only ever eaten grass and plants is healthier for people to eat than meat from animals that have been fed grain, even for a few weeks. Yet most of the meat produced in the UK now comes from animals that have been fed grain. The way 100% grass-fed farmers farm is also environmentally friendly, offers the highest animal welfare potential and takes a natural, holistic approach to high quality food production.'
Simon Billing, executive director of Eating Better says that having the PFLA joining Eating Better is a natural step, building on a strong existing and ongoing relationship.
'The PFLA will bring experience from independent 100% grass-fed British livestock farmers to the coalition, joining other farmer-led organisations such as the Nature Friendly Farming Network and The Biodynamic Association'
'They champion a model for sustainable farming that is good for biodiversity and people and better for the animals. They will help broaden our conversation with other farmers.'
Pasture for Life
The PFLA has developed a unique certification called ‘Pasture for Life’ which their farmer and retailer members can use to guarantee their meat and dairy has come from animals that have been 100% grass-fed.
The small PFLA team is working hard to increase the supply and build consumer demand. There are currently 425 PFLA members, 83 are certified Pasture for Life, with 32 certified butchers and 4 certified creameries. There are also over 1300 consumer supporters.
Many of the certified farmers sell from the farm-gate and consumers can find out where to buy Pasture for Life food on the Where to Buy page of the website – www.pastureforlife.org.
Pasture for Life farmers are individual and innovative and produce unique meat and dairy that has lower total fat content and more good fats that can help fight diseases like cancer and diabetes. There are also many more vitamins and minerals coming from the grass and green plants, including beta-carotene and vitamin E.
In taste trials across the country, Pasture for Life meat always comes out top for flavour – with a noted ‘terroir’ effect, reflecting where the animal lived, be it a South Wales salt marsh, a craggy limestone pavement in Yorkshire or a lush Cotswold water meadow.
Pasture for Life farmers also have flower-rich meadows filled with insects, birds and mammals and the way the fields are grazed rejuvenates worn out soils and captures and stores carbon.
Animals fed on a natural diet of grass and pasture are less stressed, live longer and are more fertile. The animals are often kept in family groups.