It was great to get together with some of our European EISA partners earlier this month for a two day study tour to the UK. Representatives from Germany, France, Luxembourg and Austria and the European Crop Protection Agency (ECPA) joined us in the East of England for a busy two days of farm tours, discussion and lively debate.
Current EISA Chairman and LEAF Board member, Tony Worth, hosted our first visit to his vegetable growing business in Holbeach Hurn, near Spalding – Worth Farms. The group were really keen to learn about producing food to LEAF Marque standards and how the major retailers are promoting sustainable production. We were joined by LEAF members and stakeholders for a wonderful debate over dinner on Sustainable Intensification and it was good to hear how other EU countries are tackling the issue.
Rothamsted Research was the venue of our second visit – where we learnt about their work on soil management and the new project looking at biodiversity in livestock systems. We also visited the Broadbalk Experiment – the world’s longest running experiment – and met some of the bees involved in research work on pollinators in arable systems. Finally, LEAF Demonstration Farmer, Ian Pigott gave us a fantastic tour of his farm and started off some very interesting discussion on marketing the farming industry through events such as Open Farm Sunday and how our European partners are engaging with consumers.
All in all a fantastic couple of days and great to get to know our EU partners even better! See the photos on our facebook page