Commercial organic farming in Scotland has come a long way in recent years. It is now not only a viable business model, but hugely popular with consumers too. This means you have many more options when it comes to buying fresh food in supermarkets. You can now choose between intensively reared meat with little flavour that has travelled thousands of miles to get to you, or organic meat which is full of taste and has come from just up the road.
So what are some of the other benefits of choosing to buy from an organic, high-welfare farm like Downfield?
Organic farms do not emit as much dangerous gasses as non-organic
The aim of organic farming is to work as one with nature to produce food that is free of artificial chemicals. This makes total sense to us, because any chemicals that plants and animals ingest can often be found in the meat and veg you buy and eat yourself.
The whole agricultural production chain, from fertiliser production to packaging, produces 33% of all greenhouse gas emissions. By not using any artificial fertiliser, organic farms already have lowered their environmental impact, compared to non-organic. The emission of nitrous oxide is mainly caused by the production and use of artificial fertilisers – something organic farms don’t use.
Not only do organic farms reduce emissions, but they also help lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon capture is a huge area of research in climate change with billions of dollars being spent on how best to achieve it. However organic soil has been found to be able to store more carbon. This reduces the amount in the atmosphere.
Organic farming is better for nature
Many commercial farms use pesticides to kill the insects that eat crops. Unfortunately, these chemicals can kill all insects (even the harmless ones) and leach into the soil and eventually into rivers. The same goes for the chemicals used for killing weeds.
Organic farming doesn’t use them at all. In fact, there are some clever ways farmers have discovered to help protect their crops. For example, a farmer in Germany has sown corn and runner beans together. The beans grow up the corn plants which stops light from penetrating the soil. This helps reduce the growth of weeds. Additionally, because the beans are rich in protein and the corn contains starch, it can combine to create cattle feed!
Animal welfare is our highest priority
We are committed to ensuring that the animals on our farm enjoy the best lives we can give them. All our animals are free-range, and get to enjoy bouncing around fields and eating the grass on our hills. We deeply care about animal welfare, even ensuring they have as stress-free a life as possible. Our on-farm abattoir means they don’t need to travel for hours on motorways for slaughter, and instead can be done under our watchful eye, calmly and with respect.
Organic farming in Scotland
We received our third-party certification in organic farming in 2021, after three years of transition. And we did it just in time, with Scotland facing global warming problems like increased flooding. The difference between intensive and organic farming is that we are considering all aspects of how our business affects nature, the environment, and our climate. And by supporting our commercial organic farming through buying from our shop, you can help too. And it also means you get delicious tasting local meat!