“Farmers are too scared to speak out or open up their farms to the media,” Anna Jones, Nuffield Scholar and, until very recently, a Countryfile director, writes in this latest edition of Farm Business.
“This worries me deeply. If you won’t let us see, there are people out there who will make sure it’s seen – and in a way they want it to look. Extremists don’t care about the other side of the story. I do.”
Ms Jones explains why she has quit the BBC to embark on a new venture to bridge ‘The Disconnect’ between an urban-biased mainstream media and an overly-defensive farming industry. Just Farmers will be a network of ‘free-thinking farmers’, from across all agricultural sectors and systems, willing to speak openly to journalists to bring context to the debate and educate the public about farming. Read more on page 4.
On page 10, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, better known as the Black Farmer, explains why he has set up The Hatchery to help young, aspiring food entrepreneurs. He wants to show there is ‘another way’ than the ‘dog eat dog’ vision of business start-ups portrayed by programmes like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den.
Editor Alistair Driver explores the long-running tension between food production and the environment as Michael Gove’s consultation on the future of food and farming closes (p1), while we also round-up the reaction to the shock Sainsbury’s-Asda proposal (p6).