Here at Ember, we’re on the mission of a lifetime; to end factory farming for good. With this in mind, we wanted to fill you in on the facts about regenerative farming - and how you can be sure we’ll always have one foot on the farm and the other in the future.
In short, regenerative farming is a form of sustainable agriculture. This is a brilliant system of practices that seeks to rehabilitate and preserve the farm’s entire ecosystem by restoring soil health. Basically, these kinds of farms let nature do the heavy lifting. Quite right too.
Along with a whole list of incredible benefits for farmers, their crops and livestock, regenerative agriculture helps us tackle the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and putting it in the ground.
At its core, regenerative agriculture is a rejection of the ugly industrial approach to food production we’ve been seeing throughout the 20th century. That’s right, we mean factory farming.
This whole regenerative farming business isn’t actually new, though. It’s the traditional way of farming, where 100% grass-fed animals can roam free on home soil. Sounds like the simple life, right? We think so. But why are fewer farmers taking this route than ever before?
You know that cheap meat you can find on pretty much every supermarket shelf in the UK? Well, that stuff comes with hidden costs. Most of this cheap meat is imported, and the truth is you can only produce meat that cheap by disregarding animal welfare laws, overusing antibiotics and polluting the air and water. Take 53% of our pork, which is now imported from the EU, with 70% of those imports produced in conditions that would be illegal in the UK. Want to chuck that on the grill? We thought not.
Because of all this, UK farmers are feeling the pressure from these low cost imports. More and more, they’re finding themselves forced to either join the dark side, work to contract, or shut down completely.
You might already know this one; the agriculture sector is one of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. In fact, this greenhouse gas (GHG) is responsible for most of the changes we’re seeing in our climate today.
Quick science lesson. When plants photosynthesize, they take carbon dioxide from the air and transform it into carbon to grow. The excess carbon travels down the plant and is stored in the soil. This carbon then feeds microbes and fungi, which in turn provide lots of nutrients for the plant.
Carbon can stay stored in soils for thousands of years – or released back into the atmosphere through farming practices like plowing and tillage.
So what does this have to do with regenerative farming? Well, practices like rotational grazing means livestock can graze from one patch of land to another, preventing soil erosion as the patch of land is not constantly trampled on. This helps lock carbon in the soil, helping reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air. Nice.
It also means the farm animals can consume nutrients free of antibiotics or fertilisers, producing healthier meat that’s just as good for people as it is for the planet.
We also recommend you check out the "What Is Biltong" guide.
How can you join our mission to end factory farming, you ask? By supporting brands that beat the drum for British meat, made from pasture-reared, free-roaming, happy animals.
That’s why we’ve joined forces with Farm Wilder, who champion farmers working towards fully regenerative practices. They source top quality meat that’s reared on home turf - which is better for the planet and your plate.
So now you know what we mean when we talk about our Eat Wilder Range. We’ve kicked things off with our delicious Steak Slices, Lean Salami and Wild Venison Slices (sourced from Farm Wilder accredited farms, of course). These are bites you can feel good about, made with meat from pastures green.
Enjoy your snacks, we’re off to the Ember Biltong farm.
Next Article: An interview with Philip Lymbery