More and more UK farmers are recognising the benefits of farming in a sustainable way. The movement for “better” meat and dairy is growing, with farmers the length of the UK, having made the shift to a way of producing that’s better for farm animals, for nature and for us. Within the context of eating less meat, “better” meat and dairy comes from animals reared in systems where they live largely outdoors, with space to roam, eating natural diets, reducing the need for unnecessary antibiotics. Supporting this kind of farming helps to maintain good soil health, manage landscapes and enhances nature, whilst delivering a smaller volume of ‘better’ meat and dairy products.
Retailers are getting behind this and are engaging on how to change their sourcing policies to go beyond the most basic farm assurance schemes. Currently, the simplest and most comprehensive way of identifying ‘better’ meat is whether it meets a credible independent certification. ‘Better’ schemes can offer significant benefits over standard production across a number of issues, including animal welfare, soil health, biodiversity and antibiotic use. Options include organic, free range, pasture-fed, RSPCA Assured.