Farm Gate Podcast

Farm Gate is the regenerative agriculture podcast, focussed on practical solutions for climate and food security. The topics covered are relevant for everyone who eats, but is particularly intended for farmers, food chain professionals, and policy-makers. Every week or two our host ffinlo Costain will bring our listeners stories of the people and solutions that is shaping a regenerative future for food and agriculture.

Farm Gate is a co-production between Farmwel and FAI Farms, and you can subscribe to Farm Gate wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, and Google Podcasts.

Join the conversation on twitter by following and messaging us at @ffinlocostain and @faifarms.

Other Places to Listen

EPISODE 91, March 31st, 2023:

Regen: the next decade

While regenerative agriculture itself isn't new, popular interest and the increasingly widespread deployment of regenerative principles, is a product of a global conversation that has taken place largely within the last decade. Despite that, regenerative farming has already become mainstream, with large businesses and corporations investing in research and embedding ambitious regenerative targets, and even government ministers urging producers to take up regenerative methods.

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EPISODE 90, March 17th, 2023:

Where the wilder things are

Wilder Doddington is at the start of a hundred year project to bring more nature back to the Doddington Estate - working to restore ecosystems to benefit people and nature. In this programme ffinlo Costain is joined by Wilder Doddington's Isobel Wright and the independent farm advisor, Liz Genever, who's working with Isobel and advising on cattle management. The conversation ranges from the exciting activity at Wilder Doddington to a discussion about some of the more controversial aspects of the rewilding movement.

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EPISODE 89, March 2nd, 2023:

Growing a fashion revolution

Environmental breakdown and global population rise have led to a strong focus on food supply chains, but the way that we produce fibre is equally important. At least 60% of our clothes are now made using synthetic, petrochemical-based fabrics - all of which need to be replaced. Natural animal or plant-based fibres will become resurgent on the cat walks and on the high street - so the need to reform and integrate food and fashion supply chains is urgent.

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EPISODE 88, February 17th, 2023:

Glamping and camping

The world of glamping may seem remote from the every day toil of working with crops and livestock, but for six months of the year it can provide a hugely important source of income that can be used to underpin other aspects of farming life.

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EPISODE 87, January 19th, 2023:

The future of dairy?

This is the final programme in our Regen Dairy mini-series. Today we're visiting Germany, and ffinlo Costain talks to two regenerative dairy farmers - Anja Hradetzky, who farms at Hof Stolze Kuh in northeast Brandenburg, and Annabelle Gerard who farms at Hof Tangsehl in Lower Saxony.

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EPISODE 86, December 15th, 2022:

Conscious food

One of the greatest challenges for global transformation is mindset shift - and because, in terms of food systems, this transformation needs to happen in so many places at once, it can be very difficult for individuals to feel that they're actually making a difference.

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EPISODE 85, December 6th, 2022:

The great plant-based con

ffinlo Costain speaks to Jayne Buxton, author of The Great Plant-Based Con. Jayne has written novels and non-fiction, published articles in The Independent and The Guardian, and has been an ambassador for the Real Food Campaign and the Public Health Collaboration.

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EPISODE 84, November 29th, 2022:

COP27 and food systems - what happened?

COP27 is over. Temperatures continue to rise. There's still no consensus about the role of land use and agriculture. Did anything good emerge from Sharm El-Sheikh in terms of food systems & climate change?

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EPISODE 83, November 18th, 2022:

Food forests & vertical real estate

This is the third programme in a series in which I talk to regenerative dairy producers from around the world. ffinlo Costain speaks to Phyllis Van Amburgh, who farms at Dharma Lea in Sharon Springs, New York, USA, about epigenetics and vertical real estate - and to Charlotte and Russell Heald, from Dunkeld Farm in the Tararua region of the north island in New Zealand, about food forests and circular farming systems.

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EPISODE 82, November 7th, 2022:

The one with Prof Sir Dieter Helm CBE

ffinlo Costain talks to Sir Dieter Helm CBE. Dieter is Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford. He was the Independent Chair of the UK's Natural Capital Committee, and was awarded a knighthood for services to the environment, energy and utilities policy.

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EPISODE 81, October 20th, 2022:

Carbon tunnel vision

Carbon tunnel vision is a nasty disease that can create a strongly distorted perspective on agricultural land use and food production. This programme will help to remedy the condition, by showing that land use decisions are complex. ffinlo Costain is joined by Adele Jones, the deputy chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, and by Ashleigh Bright, a food systems and sustainability scientist, based in New Zealand.

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EPISODE 80, October 7th, 2022:

Regen Dairy round-the-world tour (edited)

This is an edited recording of the Regen Dairy round-the-world tour webinar, which took place on 5th October 2022. We were thrilled to host this opportunity to circumnavigate the globe with four very different regen dairy farmers, all of whom are quite exceptional in their own way.

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EPISODE 79, October 3rd, 2022:

Small Abattoirs

Small abattoirs are essential infrastructure, but they're in serious decline - seen by the UK Government as a 'nice to have' that serves the middle classes, rather than a 'must have' to deliver climate, biodiversity and soil security - and to support rural economies and farming communities.

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EPISODE 78, September 22nd, 2022:

Restoring water, with Walter Jehne & Caroline Grindrod

Changing the way we manage hydrology is essential if we're to restore ecological security. This programme is the recording of a Food & Global Security Network webinar called, Restoring Water Cycles. It features globally renowned soil microbiologist, Walter Jehne, from Regenerate Earth, and regenerative farming coach, Caroline Grindrod, from Roots of Nature. The discussion is chaired by ffinlo Costain.

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EPISODE 77, September 15th, 2022:

Regeneration, not Regenesis

Jyoti Fernandes is from the UK Landworkers' Alliance and well-known as a campaigner working for the rights of small farmers and peasant farmers. Jyoti recently wrote an open letter to the Guardian writer, George Monbiot, whose book, #Regenesis, and the articles he's written to promote it, distort public awareness of regenerative solutions to the ecological crisis.

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EPISODE 76, September 1st, 2022:

Getting off the treadmill

This is the second in a series in which ffinlo talks to regenerative dairy producers from around the world - as part of the Regen Dairy project, set up by FAI Farms and Farmwel, in collaboration with Unilever, Barry Callebaut, Arla Foods, Woolworth South Africa and Ben & Jerry’s.

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EPISODE 75, August 17th, 2022:

Managing water flows in the landscape

Increased rainfall and storm intensity are hugely important characteristics of global temperature rises and the way land is managed can have an enormous impact on our ability to reduce flood risk. In this programme we're talking about natural flood defences and ways to manage water flows in the landscape.

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EPISODE 74, August 8th, 2022:

Scaling Regenerative Dairy

This is the first in a series in which we talk to regenerative dairy producers from around the world - as part of the Regen Dairy project, set up by FAI Farms and Farmwel, in collaboration with Unilever, Barry Callebaut, Arla Foods, Woolworth South Africa and Ben & Jerry’s.

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EPISODE 73, July 21st, 2022:

A Small Farm Future

Many governments see farm expansion as the future of agriculture, but there's a grave risk that this will simply embed the challenges inherent in today's food system. Instead we need diversity - and small farms play a critical a role.

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EPISODE 72, July 8th, 2022:

Lessons From Ukraine

What does war in Ukraine, and the global response to conflict, tell us about global food production and food systems more broadly?

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EPISODE 71, July 5th, 2022:

Urban Food

Most people live in cities, urban conurbations and housing estates rather than in cottages next to farms. How can we shorten supply chains into cities, bring food production to urban areas, and support volunteers and micro business opportunities for citizens, farmers and growers?

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EPISODE 70, June 14th, 2022:

The Food Price Crisis

The war in Ukraine has sparked a food price crisis with devastating impacts being felt around the world - but while Russia lit the touch paper, this crisis was predicted and could have been avoided.

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EPISODE 69, June 6th, 2022:

Localism & Nationalism

A regenerative agricultural and environmental transformation depends upon a resurgence of localism - but localism is also championed by far right politicians who pronounce their own vision centred on a tough approach to immigration. How we can safeguard food systems in a more ecologically chaotic world with accelerating human migration? Can we find a popular but inclusive vision of national localism?

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EPISODE 68, May 5th, 2022:

The one with Six inches of Soil

In this programme, we discuss a feature film, Six Inches of Soil, which is currently in production in the UK. The film is being crowd-funded by organisations and individuals, and its producers want to ensure that - even as we are driven towards an ecological precipice fuelled in part by an industrialised food system - we recognise that the dirt beneath our feet is what feeds us and makes our societies strong.

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EPISODE 67, April 7th, 2022:

The politics of protein

In this programme, we're talking about meat, fish and protein alternatives - and the competing claims about sustainability that are made by individuals and vested interests across the food sector and around the world.

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EPISODE 66, March 24th, 2022:

Forestry & land use

Demand for new woodland is growing for everything from timber to carbon sequestration. But forests take up space - and competition for land is increasing. How do we balance the demands of food production, nature, housing and infrastructure, with the need for new woodland and forest products?

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EPISODE 65, March 11th, 2022:

The meat paradox

In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Rob Percival, author of The Meat Paradox. We are not wild animals and yet we still kill other sentient creatures and eat them in their billions. Rob charts our relationship with meat, from the scavenging of carcasses on an ancient savannah to the industrialised systems that produce much of the meat we consume today. He finds that emotional conflict has challenged human consciousness for many thousands of years.

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EPISODE 64, February 23rd, 2022:

The one with Hodmedods

In this programme, ffinlo Costain talks to Josiah Meldrum, co-founder of the successful on-line retailer, Hodmedods. Josiah works with British farms to source top quality beans, pulses and grains - particularly less well-known foods, like the fava bean, grown in Britain since the Iron Age, but now largely forgotten.

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EPISODE 63, February 9th, 2022:

Soil & Satellites

In this programme we focus on the UK and East Africa and discuss how the carbon market can channel finance from carbon sequestration and storage to help fund broader land regeneration.

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EPISODE 62, January 27th, 2022:

Carbon farming

Carbon farming is on the rise - but how does the carbon market work, and how does carbon sequestration and storage help to finance the delivery of other ecosystem services.

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