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Proof that sustainable meat and dairy farming can work | Letters

12.10.2017
Příroda
David Finlay writes that his experiment in sustainable and ethical meat and dairy farming shows that it is achievableI had just got back into the house from milking the cows when I read the discussion (Letters, 7 October) on George Monbiot's latest contribution to the debate about the future of our food production system. While George is a fundamentalist, I must confess I agree with much of what he says! The problem is that, as an extremist fundamentalist, he just goes too far. Here on our rented family farm of 100 dairy cows with some beef and sheep, we are in the first year of a three-year, final-stage experiment to challenge the idea that treating our animals, land, environment and the people who work and live here with respect is somehow incompatible with financial viability and our industry's ability to provide adequate amounts of affordable food, and is therefore unsustainable.This is the final part of a much longer-term experiment, incorporating agroecology, agroforestry and calf-with-cow dairying along with appropriate technologies that allow us to achieve these public benefit outcomes. On paper this could work. In practice it hasn't been easy. But there are glimmers of daylight. We are on the final stretch and many of our targets have been met: substantial (90%-plus) cuts in the use of antibiotics, anthelmintics, vaccines, soluble fertiliser and pesticides (and diffuse pollution) without compromising productivity or animal health; and substantial increases in biodiversity and reductions in staff working hours. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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