BERWICKSHIRE farmer Chris Walton represented Scottish organic farmers when he attended the European Commission’s launch of the United Nations’ (UN) ‘International Year of Family Farming’ in Brussels last week.
First launched in New York at the end of last month, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the initiative aims to raise the profile of family and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
One of around 500 delegates, Chris, of award-winning Peelham organic farm, Foulden, said: “The United Nations and European Commission now realise that the farming family spirit gives resilience to this most essential of world industries particularly during this time of weather extremes and economic upheaval.
“It was gratifying to witness the acknowledgement of the value of the family on farms and in particular those families which supply food direct to local communities”.
Peelham, with an on-farm organic butchery and seven employees, was Highly Commended award in RSPB’s Nature of Farming Award earlier this year and is a former Future Farmer Award (2009).
Chris is on the Farmer and Grower Board of the Soil Association and the invitation came from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.