A new campaign aims to highlight the important role farmers play in managing the island’s natural habitat.
Wild About Guernsey Farming (#WAGF) is a collaboration between Guernsey Dairy and the Guernsey Farmers Association (GFA) to demonstrate how the local dairy industry benefits the island and manages its countryside. The campaign will feature several initiatives including specific school and education projects to increase awareness amongst young islanders.
Andrew Tabel, Guernsey Dairy’s managing director said: “The dairy industry in Guernsey is one of the islands oldest traditions and has a rich heritage passed down through the generations. It is something that we rightly feel very proud of. Farmers of today are every bit as important as their predecessors, being custodians of our unique breed and all the benefits that this brings to the island. This campaign will shine a light on their contributionbto the island.”
Among the areas highlighted through the campaign will be the RSPCA Farm Assured accreditation, which all local famers and the Dairy hold. This demonstrates the highest standards of animal welfare are achieved. The campaign will also explain modern day breeding programmes which protect the genetic integrity of the Guernsey breed and looks to challenge some myths about local farming.
GFA President Michael Bray said: “We are conscious that some of the things the public may hear about modern day farming is not always accurate, or at least not in the local context. This is a good opportunity for us to explain how we are actively promoting sustainability, and how we protect and care for the iconic Guernsey breed and the habitat in which they live.
“Guernsey farmers all have biodiversity plans and often will initiate their own programmes to mitigate any impacts that their activities may otherwise have on the environment. We also have some great achievements that we want to celebrate, such as our island wide RSPCA Assured status and the Great Taste Awards that Guernsey Dairy products have achieved,” he said.
Michael said while the alternative non-dairy market offers consumers a huge choice, some of these products are highly processed, lack natural goodness and have considerable food miles. As well as raising awareness of the local dairy industry to customers, it is hoped that the campaign will also appeal to a new generation of farmers.
“It has been great to see more young Guernsey farmers taking up the mantel in recent years and it’s important that this continues,” said Michael.
The campaign will start in the coming weeks with some social media activity introducing some of the local dairy farmers and as the year progresses there will be a number of initiatives to champion our local dairy farming community and industry.