Graeme Matarvers and Brian Fewster with longhorn cow and calf A Future for Farming
Need to reduce food miles to combat global warming

On Friday June 4, at 11.30am, Brian Fewster, the Number 1 candidate on the Green Party's European list, paid a visit to Manor Farm in Long Whatton, near Loughborough, Leicestershire.

The owner, Graeme Matravers, who recently joined the Green Party, farms 300 acres organically in the village. He has a farm shop selling his own and other local farmers' produce and is very keen on local marketing. He specialises in locally-developed traditional longhorn cattle (see attached picture). He is also a director of Leicestershire Food Links, a community enterprise company involved in promoting local food and linking together consumers and producers. He is currently Three Counties Chair of the NFU for Leics, Northants and Rutland.

Both men agreed on the need for joined-up thinking at all levels of government on the intimate link between climate change policy and food policy.

Brian Fewster said "The Green Party believes that local food marketing is part of the answer to global warming. The less fuel required to transport food from producer to consumer, the less impact on the world's climate. The Green Party wants to change the CAP and the rules of the single market so as to give more help both to local food suppliers and to organic farmers. People like Graeme Matravers should have more support at both national and EU level."

The Green Party’s manifesto for the European election points out that “further trade liberalisation will increase food transport worldwide and extend the absurd practice of the same countries importing and exporting the same product at the same time. The top four supermarkets in Britain account for nearly half the UK food retail market, and through their huge buying power they dictate farm prices at home and abroad.

“We need to change this system, so that farmers receive a fairer price for their produce and retail profits are not concentrated in the hands of the supermarket giants. Local procurement, farmers’ markets, box schemes and allotments are just some of the ways that we can regain a healthy and sustainable supply of food.”

After discussing these issues, Mr Fewster bought some of the produce on sale in the farm shop. “The bread in particular was outstanding for taste,” he reported later.

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Published and promoted by Brian Fewster on behalf of the Green Party and himself as candidate at 89a Winchester Avenue, Leicester LE3 1AY.