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Breakfast at Home

by Michael Ford last modified 20 Nov, 2020 10:41 PM

Farmers must rise to the needs of “a whole host of new challenges” - that was the message from the High Sheriff of Dorset to those attending Bishop Karen’s latest ‘Breakfast at Home’.

Breakfast at Home

Photo courtesy High Sheriff of Dorset's website

Mr George Streatfeild, who is also the Director of Denhay Farms in West Dorset, was speaking via Zoom to church and community leaders, decision makers and representatives from businesses within Dorset, who were brought together by Bishop Karen for this Dorset initiative.

Those who had tuned in with their cup of Dorset Tea (a Dorset Tea teabag had been sent out with the invitation to attend by the Bishop) included Antony Woodhouse of Hall and Woodhouse Brewery, a representative from Purbeck Ice Cream, Heads of local schools, and the Chief Executive of Dorset County Council, Matt Prosser.

They heard George Streatfeild explain that farmers were real people and that farming was not an exact science.

He said that farmers were working with a range of variables, from different landscapes and soils to available technologies and potential yields, adding that:

“Farmers must rise to the challenges of the changing needs of our planet, the expectations of regulators, consumers, food processors and retailers, consumers’ changing tastes in food and concerns about how it is produced.”

He said they also faced the pressures from “climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss and working in the natural world with plants, pests and diseases which continue to pose their own challenges.”

Among those listening to the talk was recent Aldhelm Cross recipient Gillian Clarke, who is a member of our Bishop’s Council and Lay Chair of our Diocesan Synod as well as an active church member at West Moors. She commented:

“George's presentation was brilliant and that, together with his responses to the questions, gave a very valuable insight into the challenges facing farmers and our rural communities.

“It was very helpful in informing our vision and thinking as we look to renewing hope in these areas of our Diocese.”

This was the third of four Zoom breakfasts that Bishop Karen has arranged this autumn, inviting all Dorset clergy to at least one for them to interact on various topics with a wide variety of community and business leaders. These have replaced the face-to-face gatherings for breakfast held in previous years.

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