Food is our most intimate and vital commodity, yet too many of us have lost touch with the reality of where it comes from and how it is produced. Providing a seasonal tour of a traditional farming year, passionate beef farmer Joe Stanley seeks to bridge this knowledge gap and inform the reader about the journey their food takes before it gets to the plate, revealing the realities of modern agricultural life for a British lowland farmer. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he strips observations of the countryside and agricultural practices down to the core of his day-to-day, illustrating how our food is produced and why our farmed landscape looks the way it does.
Along the way, he offers insight into his daily routine, such as how crops are planted, why livestock is brought in for winter, and what happens at harvest, while addressing the bigger issues surrounding food standards, sustainability, the environment, rural heritage, trade and the future of agricultural policy outside the EU. Often undermined as an antiquated pastime, agriculture is actually the core of a GBP122bn food and farming sector (the UK's largest manufacturing industry), and Farm to Fork: The Challenge of Sustainable Farming in 21st Century Britain stands as a testament to British farming and the heart that goes into the food our farmers produce, the environmental stewardship they deliver and the landscape they maintain, whether through the assurance of food quality, animal welfare or environmental sustainability. This is a wonderfully-detailed and candid account of the life of a British farmer - of the highs and lows and lessons learned from a lifetime on the land.