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Cornwall Council Passes 'Landmark' Motion to Support Local Farmers
Missouri Ag Connection - 05/24/2023

Cornwall councillors have voted in favour of a ‘landmark’ motion which campaigners say marks a ‘fightback’ against anti-livestock farming sentiment seen at other councils.

The first-of-its-kind motion will ensure the council’s commitment to local farmers by proactively sourcing local, seasonal produce - including meat and dairy - at council events.

Residents will be encouraged to ‘shop locally’ and urged to take advantage of ‘home-grown, affordable, nutritious food’, irrespective of dietary preference.

The move comes in the face of several motions passed at other councils across the country, which encourage residents to buy ‘plant-based’ produce in a move away from meat and dairy, while also committing to only source vegan options for councillors at events.

The motion submitted by Conservative councillor Nick Craker, which passed almost unanimously, recognises the "huge contribution made by [our] local farmers to the Cornish economy and its rural communities."

It adds: "Cornwall Council commits to developing stronger partnerships with our arable, livestock, and dairy farmers in order to enhance our magnificent countryside.

"The council will also strive to support farmers, by being sympathetic to ‘diversification opportunities and promotion of local produce."

In 2021, Oxfordshire County Council sparked outrage among farmers, including Jeremy Clarkson, when it passed a motion to ban meat and dairy at its events.

At the time, the council justified the policy saying it was "in the interest of the health of our planet and the health of our people."

It has also sponsored a taxpayer funded website, urging people to adopt a plant-based diet to help “slow climate change, rein in habitat loss, and regenerate the health of our planet”.

Quoting Clarkson’s Farm Star, Kaleb Cooper, Cllr Craker introduced the motion by saying: “You need a doctor once a year maybe and a fireman once in a lifetime, if you're unlucky. But you need a farmer three times a day”.

He said: “33,000 people are employed in the agri-food sector in Cornwall. As a percentage that’s double the national rate for England.

"In terms of output the sector in Cornwall accounts for nearly 17% of GVA, that’s four times the national average for England.

“Livestock production, especially dairy, is the largest proportion of the production sector, but we also have a large- and growing- commercial horticulture sector as well.

“A small minority of councils around the country, like Oxfordshire, have voted to abolish meat and dairy [at council events].

"I can’t begin to imagine the damage that would do to Cornwall. Supporting all our farmers and growers is essential for our economy here in Cornwall,” he added.

“Food production and environmental promotion are not an either or. We need both in equal measure.

"We also need to consider paying more for food that’s sustainable – it’s no good stopping production here only to import cheaply from South America and cut down the rainforest to meet consumer choice.

“We can do small things like ensuring we source seasonal meat, dairy and plant-based produce for Council events and services. Let’s always practice what we preach.”

“Let’s ensure our residents know how to source local dairy, how to cook good local meat. I ask members to back Cornwall’s farmers and food producers today.

"It’s good for the economy, it’s essential for the environment and it’s critical to keep putting food on all of our tables – meat, dairy and plant-based”.


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