For most of 2015 I travelled around England and Wales seeking out people who have a made choice to produce food in an ethical and sustainable way. In such cases, food production is more often than not locally focused, often community based, organic or biodynamic in method, small in scale, highly rotational and biodiverse, low in energy use, low in intervention and high in animal welfare. It is everything that factory farming is not, and produces food of quality and seasonality within, or close to, consuming communities.
In choosing to grow in this way the practitioners are not opting for an easy way out. The life is demanding, and motivation is often linked to environmental activism – the protest is by simply growing food through a new agroecology. In making such a choice, these alternative farmers and growers provide the rest of us with a choice as to where we source our daily food. Is it to be ethically sourced or are we to support the fault-bestrewn status quo found in every supermarket. It is a choice which fundamentally challenges our attitude towards the earth on which we live.