Farm Gate Podcast

Farm Gate podcast focusses 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 14, March 24th, 2020:

What does Less & Better mean?

The term Less & Better is frequently used by NGOs when trying to address consumption patterns to deliver sustainable meat and dairy. But what does Less & Better mean? And is it really as unifying as the NGOs would like to believe?

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EPISODE 13, March 17th, 2020:

Why are facts not enough?

Why are facts no longer enough to change attitudes & behaviours? How can we communicate new ideas & information in the modern world? How can we persuade people to make the changes necessary to combat environmental & supply chain challenges? In this programme we look at the psychology of Human Behaviour Change.

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EPISODE 12, March 6th, 2020:

Farmers Unite for a Global Statement on GWP*

Farmers from across the world have issued a Joint Statement calling for governments to recognise the importance of the metric GWP*. Signatories include the National Farmers' Union, CLA, National Sheep Association, and Beef & Lamb New Zealand. While recognising that climate change is one of the most urgent challenges we face, farmers leaders are calling for the role of agricultural methane to be accurately recognised in policy and accurately accounted for in the foot-printing of agricultural emissions.

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EPISODE 11, March 2nd, 2020:

Climate, Food and National Security

It's widely accepted that climate change can impact on food availability in developing countries, potentially leading to conflict. But what about developed nations such as the UK or the USA? Could our own food supplies be threatened by climate change? Could the complexity of our supply chains make us more vulnerable than we realise?

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EPISODE 10, February 24th, 2020:

The European Chicken Commitment and KFC

Signatories to the NGO-backed European Chicken Commitment must move from standard intensive indoor production systems for rearing meat chickens, to more humane, extensive indoor systems by the 1st of January 2026. The Commitment has attracted widespread attention from broiler producers, and several major brands have already signed up - including KFC, Nestle, M&S and Unilever.

How will the Commitment improve the lives and deaths of chickens reared for meat? What are the practical implications of delivering the required standards, within the established time-frame?

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EPISODE 9, February 20th, 2020:

Let's help Dominic Cummings! Radical proposals for agricultural reform

Dominic Cummings, the UK Prime Minister's strategist-in-chief, has said that he wants to shake up Government. He wants to break the alleged stranglehold that the civil service has over policy development & delivery. He's asked for ideas - and we want to help.

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EPISODE 8, February 11th, 2020:

Regenerative farming - making the transition

FAI Farms runs a beef and sheep operation near Oxford, UK, which is currently undergoing a transition from an organic to a regenerative system. With baseline carbon and nature foot-printing in place, progress will be closely monitored. Input costs have already reduced, with livestock now wintering outside on grass. FAI anticipates increasing its herd/flock size while also becoming global warming neutral and boosting biodiversity. In documenting and showcasing the transition in progress, they hope to inspire other farmers and companies to join the regenerative agriculture movement.

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EPISODE 7, February 3rd, 2020:

Farming & Mental Illness

On this week's episode host ffinlo Costain talks to Graham Morgan MBE, about farming, mental health, and mental illness. A farming life is generally a good life but it can be demanding and stressful. It's hardly a surprise that farmers and rural workers can feel isolated, depressed, or unable to cope.

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EPISODE 5 & 6, January 28th, 2020:

How can farm vets contribute to sustainability?

This week we are launching two episodes asking the question 'How can farm vets contribute to sustainability?' The first episode is interview led, the second is a more free-flowing discussion, featuring three influential UK veterinarians. Veterinarians visit farms every day and can play a critical role in helping to advocate for genuine sustainability on farm - taking into account environmental, ethical and economic dimensions. The concept of OneHealth suggests good animal health is linked to good welfare, which may also go hand-in-hand with improved environmental performance. Looking beyond the farm vets' traditional role these two episodes suggest they can help farmers transition away from the most intensive farm production systems, keep global warming below two degrees centigrade, and re-build biodiversity.

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EPISODE 4, January 22nd, 2020:

Sustainable Monoculture?

In terms of land use today there are three things that really matter – high quality food production, climate change mitigation, and nature restoration. A great farm must do all three. In this episode of Farm Gate we are talking to a rock star of regenerative farming, a phenomenally successful sugar producer, an inventor, and philosopher. His sugar farm is a living proof that regenerative agriculture provides the blueprint for the global land use reform we all depend upon, and the transition we urgently need.

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EPISODE 3, January 22nd, 2020:

Conservatives and the Environment

With UK's imminent departure from the European Union on the 31st of January, Farm Gate sat down with the Conservative Environment Network to discuss their plans for how to tackle the connected challenges of agriculture, land use and climate change in a post Brexit era. We asked, what are the big opportunities arising from Brexit?

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EPISODE 2, January 14th, 2020:

Is Vegan a Dirty Word?

It seems pretty crazy that we've reached the stage where this question is asked - but with food becoming central to the war against global climate crisis people's personal choices about what they eat have become a major battle ground. Do you think you are a better person because you're a vegan; or because you only eat meat from grass fed livestock, or perhaps because you refuse to eat anything that's been produced further than 20 miles away? Or rather than judging each other's food choices, could we instead focus on what each parcel of land, and the landscape around it, could best produce in balance with nature?

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EPISODE 1, January 9th, 2020

Ruminant Methane, GWP* & Global Warming

In our very first episode we investigate the role of ruminant methane in global warming. Research by a global team of scientists based at the University of Oxford provides a new way of measuring the impacts of methane on global warming - a metric known as GWP*. Methane is a short-lived gas and its warming potential should be considered differently from carbon dioxide, a long-lived gas. GWP* allows farmers to accurately measure the impact of ruminant methane and suggests a path for how ongoing ruminant production can be compatible with ambitious climate targets seeking to limit further temperature increases.

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