In a disastrous start to the new Prime Minister’s time in office, the £45 billion in tax cuts announced in the ‘mini budget’ has dominated the media, and deeply concerned the financial and pension markets, seeing sterling drop to a 37-year low to $1.03. The media has...
In just one month Olly Harrison, a farmer from Merseyside, earned £3,500 from YouTube. Olly started posting videos on the social media platform early in the pandemic, initially to entertain children, he now has 48,000 subscribers who watch his daily broadcasts which...
Claire Taylor is an agricultural communications specialist who works for JCM, with over a decade of experience working across TV, radio and print, as a reporter and producer. She has recently been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship for 2023 and in JCM’s latest blog, we...
There’s an archipelago of 18 islands located between Shetland and Iceland that’s home to just 54,000 people. I visited these islands - the Faroes – a few weeks ago to learn more about its fishery and agricultural sectors. The similarities to Scotland’s islands were...
As I write this, I’m sitting in rural Denmark at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Congress. In many ways the Danish landscape is similar to much of Scotland; farmers are dominantly growing spring barley, oats, as well as lots of grass and...
Jane Craigie Marketing (JCM) is excited to announce that Rebecca Dawes will join the company’s founder, Jane Craigie, as a director and shareholder of the business.
Discussions around future agricultural policy come at a critical time, with Scottish farmers and crofters facing astronomical input costs and increasing pressure to deliver on net zero targets – all whilst grappling with a cost-of-living crisis which has turned the nation’s focus to the cost of food.
Jane Craigie Marketing (JCM) has strengthened its team, once again, with the appointment of Claire Taylor, who joins the agrifood and rural marketing agency as an Account Manager, following a successful career in broadcast and print journalism. With a deep-rooted...
The ‘race to the bottom’ can’t continue for farmers and the food they produce. So, I was heartened, to see Bali Nijjar, MD of Freshways, the London-based dairy processor, calling on retailers to ‘value milk appropriately’ as he announced that the price his business will pay farmers for a litre of milk will reach 40 pence from 1 May.
Just when supply chains didn’t need another crisis, Vladimir Putin decides to invade Ukraine. The human impact on Ukrainian people is almost impossible for us to comprehend, from the safety of our country and homes. Normal life, one day replaced by tragedy, fear, and loss the next.
Prior to Christmas 2021, several UK grower associations said that many of their members were not going to risk planting horticultural crops this season because they couldn’t guarantee the labour they needed to pick, pack and transport their produce. Farming and forestry businesses are also struggling to recruit and retain good, committed people, particularly in remote and rural locations.
Jane Craigie Marketing (JCM) has strengthened its team and continued a commitment to support young people in rural areas, with the appointment of Rose Moggach (23), whose skills and interest in the rural economy will complement the existing team.
January has become the month of food and drink campaigns; some are health-centric, others have an emphasis on the environment. Dry January means no alcohol; Veganuary is a switch to a vegan diet and now we have Regenuary, which has a pro-regenerative farming, pro-meat and anti-vegan mission.
In England this week, George Eustice announced more detail on Defra’s Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), for which 1,000 farmers are already signed up. The scheme starts to give some clarity to farmers on what to expect from the next phase of agricultural support. SFI will pay farmers between £22-58/ha to test soils, sow herbal leys and create soil management plans.
Making bread is a joy. It brings pleasure in its making, its baking and its eating. Nothing compares to the smell of freshly baked bread – apart from maybe freshly ground coffee and cut grass. Breadmaking is also the endpoint in the growing process, which from sowing to harvest takes 10-or-so months of a farmer’s time and care. It is also the culmination of a plant breeder’s 10-year quest for a variety that is suitable for the structure and integrity needed in a loaf.
The number of people attending COP26 is staggering. Over 25,000 world leaders, 100,000 demonstrators and 10,000 police officers are in the city gathered to address the climate ‘code red for humanity’. I was privileged to speak at a COP26 fringe, on achieving a ‘just’ transition towards net-zero for rural Scotland. At the heart of a fair transition are Scotland’s people, its businesses and its communities, and not leaving those who can’t, or won’t make the changes needed, behind.
I have just visited Arran for the first time, and it won’t be the last. Aside from the stunning scenery, nature and wildlife, it is the first holiday where I have come home and really felt “human”. From the moment we stepped off the Ferry, our short-holiday felt like it was just for us. The Douglas Hotel was warm and friendly, with well-furnished rooms and fantastic views across the harbour. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was inviting. But it was the staff who really made the stay exceptional. They were personal but professional, attentive but not intrusive and treated us as individuals.
For those of us who have studied at an agricultural college, or campus, the bond of connection with that place is strong and enduring. I studied for my degree in agriculture at Seale Hayne Agricultural College in South Devon. As a result of some – in my opinion – bad decision making, and a lack of vision, the college closed its doors in 2005, much to our collective heartache.
Huntly’s Hairst has been running for a number of years. Organised by a group of community volunteers and supported by local organisations Huntly Development Trust (HDT) and Deveron Projects, it’s a celebration of local food, farming and community. Its strapline is ‘Celebrating Rural Life Together.”
When the rural area you live in has been the bedrock of your family for generations, it can be difficult to break free of the mould that people expect you to fit. In contrast, newcomers to rural places can find it intimidating to navigate the social dynamics that are found in tight-knit communities.
Love him or loathe him, Jeremy Clarkson is doing what many have tried to do for years. Clarkson’s Farm is showing the reality of farming in the UK and in doing so is connecting the public to the agricultural community. The good and the bad, the vast range of skills required, the extensive use of technology and science, the high costs, the importance of health and safety, and the complexity of managing the farming calendar, to name just a few topics that have been covered in the first few episodes.
Regenerative agriculture is a concept that is captivating many UK farmers as the sector plans for a greener emphasis for farming support payments. ‘Regen Ag’ focuses on soil regeneration, minimum tillage and mixed farming. Many ‘Regen’ advocates also place importance on the regeneration of communities as well as the land itself. It fascinates me to see how farmers are taking to social media, field events and asking for advice, aimed at making wholesale changes to their farm practices that are focused on environmental improvement and wider community engagement.
The Rural Youth Project, in partnership with Smart Village Scotland continues to develop the pioneering world-first youth centric Smart Village and are seeking five enthusiastic young people to join their team of Digital Champions. The voluntary role, which will be active from May to August 2021, will see the five new digital champions join a core team of ten young people who are driving the development of the platform. The new digital champions will receive personal and professional support as well as a contribution of £530 during the placement.
For centuries Britain held a strong position as world traders, but for the last 50 years, our trade has taken place predominantly across a narrow stretch of water between UK ports and the European trading block.
RSABI has launched a new programme to encourage young people to get involved with the organisation’s board. The charity, which supports people in Scottish agriculture, is now accepting applications from people aged 18 to 30 for its Trainee Trustee programme.
Launched in March 2021, The YoungStock is aimed at any budding young farmer, or child interested in farming and the countryside. Packed full of stories and activities, the 32-page publication celebrates the environment, food production and seasonality. Founded by...
I’m from a really small village. When I say small, I mean it. Within the village of Rydal, which is located atop of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales, Australia, there is a population of just 50 (depending on how many of my family are visiting).
Last week, it was with a very heavy heart that I sent out a press release for the Turriff Show committee announcing its cancellation for the second year in a row. It was a hard, but the right decision given the uncertainty Covid-19 is still creating for us all. Agricultural shows are such an iconic part of our farming sector, giving space and time to share the stories about our local foods, farmers, heritage and communities.
The food and farming sector faces a nail-biting Christmas as the countdown to Brexit painfully drags on. Our exit from the world’s largest trading block has come at a complex time, the world’s economy has been jarred by COVID-19. Shoppers’ habits have altered dramatically during lockdown, and illness coupled with operational restrictions have stalled the flow of food picking, manufacturing, and delivery.
A former student at SRUC is among three new non-executive directors to be appointed to the SRUC Board. David Bell, who studied for his HND in Agriculture at the King’s Buildings in Edinburgh in 2001, joins marketing professional Jane Craigie and Chris Sayers, former...