60 episodes

The Sustainable Food Trust podcast questions current food production methods and sheds light on the future of farming. Chief Executive Patrick Holden hears from a range of voices, including policymakers, business leaders, food producers and campaigners, about some of the issues facing farming systems across the world.

The Sustainable Food Trust Podcast Patrick Holden

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 28 Ratings

The Sustainable Food Trust podcast questions current food production methods and sheds light on the future of farming. Chief Executive Patrick Holden hears from a range of voices, including policymakers, business leaders, food producers and campaigners, about some of the issues facing farming systems across the world.

    Iain Tolhurst on 40 years of organic horticulture: Lessons, trials and triumphs (part two)

    Iain Tolhurst on 40 years of organic horticulture: Lessons, trials and triumphs (part two)

    Bringing the fourth series of the SFT podcast to a close, Patrick Holden caught up with longtime friend and one of the pioneers of the UK’s organic farming movement, Iain ‘Tolly’ Tolhurst.
    “We need to bring farming back into society. It’s become completely divorced from society.”
    Tolhurst Organic, located on the Hardwick Estate between the Chilterns and the river Thames, is a model of sustainability, and one of the longest running organic vegetable farms in England.
    For over 40 years, Tolly has been producing a wide range of seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables, which are sold to the local community through a box scheme. His farm was the first to attain the “Stockfree Organic” symbol in 2004, and there have been no grazing animals and no animal inputs to any part of the farm for over 30 years. To build soil fertility, Iain uses green manures as part of a crop rotation, as well as using vegetable and woodchip compost from waste materials.
    With his extensive knowledge and experience of organic food production, Iain also delivers educational talks across the UK and beyond, and runs a consultancy service giving advice on organic conversion and production, helping to train and educate farmers and growers for the future.
    During this episode, Patrick and Tolly explore the economics of farming and what it means to pay the ‘right price’ for our food. Tolly also talks about the productive capacity of Tolhurst Organic and how they’re feeding the surrounding community through their veg box scheme. Patrick and Iain delve into the current state of the UK farming sector amidst the changing policy around farm subsidies and how this is affecting both organic and conventional farmers, before closing with a conversation on the importance of demonstration farms for informing and educating people about the story behind their food and the need to incentivise farmers for this.
    To find out more about Iain and Tolhurst Organic, follow @tolhurstorganicveg on Instagram, or visit www.tolhurstorganic.co.uk.
    This conversation has been split into two episodes – for part one click here, or find the episode wherever you get your podcasts from.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

    • 20 min
    Iain Tolhurst on 40 years of organic horticulture: Lessons, trials and triumphs (part one)

    Iain Tolhurst on 40 years of organic horticulture: Lessons, trials and triumphs (part one)

    Bringing the fourth series of the SFT podcast to a close, Patrick Holden caught up with longtime friend and one of the pioneers of the UK’s organic farming movement, Iain ‘Tolly’ Tolhurst.
    Tolhurst Organic, located on the Hardwick Estate between the Chilterns and the river Thames, is a model of sustainability, and one of the longest running organic vegetable farms in England.
    For over 40 years, Iain has been producing a wide range of seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables, which are sold to the local community through a box scheme. His farm was the first to attain the “Stockfree Organic” symbol in 2004, and there have been no grazing animals and no animal inputs to any part of the farm for over 30 years. To build soil fertility, Iain uses green manures as part of a crop rotation, as well as using vegetable and woodchip compost from waste materials.
    With his extensive knowledge and experience of organic food production, Iain also delivers educational talks across the UK and beyond, and runs a consultancy service giving advice on organic conversion and production, helping to train and educate farmers and growers for the future.
    During this episode, Patrick and Iain recount how they first met in 1981 when the UK Organic Farming movement was still in its infancy, and Iain shares the origin of his passion for horticulture, including his earliest influences. They also discuss the impacts of World War II on agriculture in the UK and what lessons we can learn from this, before digging into Iain’s farming practices including the use of wood chip, as well as a discussion around the the role of livestock.
    To find out more about Iain and Tolhurst Organic, follow @tolhurstorganicveg on Instagram, or visit https://www.tolhurstorganic.co.uk.
    This conversation has been split into two episodes – tune in for part two on Wednesday 10th April.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, Xor Facebook.

    • 55 min
    Julius Roberts on re-connecting people with the story behind their food

    Julius Roberts on re-connecting people with the story behind their food

    Julius Roberts – a first-generation farmer and chef with a passion for seasonal cooking and self-sufficiency – joins Patrick Holden for this episode of the SFT podcast.
    After studying sculpture at university, Julius worked as a full-time chef in London before moving to a smallholding in Dorset where he now farms. He keeps a range of livestock, including goats, sheep and pigs, and grows a wide variety of vegetables. He’s also amassed an online audience of over one million followers, where he shares delicious, seasonal recipes, inspiring people to think more about the seasonality and provenance of their food. In 2023 he published his recipe book, The Farm Table, which is now a Sunday Times bestseller.
    During the conversation, Patrick and Julius discuss a range of issues, including the pressured but inspiring time that he spent working as a full-time chef in London, the role of restaurants in providing a “home for good farming”, and humans’ responsibility to ensure a good life and death for the animals that provide our milk, cheese, meat and more. Talking about his animals, Julius comments, “I feel very privileged to be so close to my food. When you rear animals on the scale that I do, they become companions… and they should be respected… What has happened to the world of meat to make it cheap for us and an everyday commodity is a scar on humanity.”
    They also explore the power of storytelling and social media in connecting people with the story behind their food, as well as touching upon the current farmer protests taking place in Europe and the UK.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

    • 46 min
    John and Alice Pawsey on their journey from conventional to organic agriculture

    John and Alice Pawsey on their journey from conventional to organic agriculture

    In this episode of the SFT podcast, Patrick Holden sat down with John and Alice Pawsey, pioneering organic farmers of Shimpling Park Farm in Suffolk.
    As well as farming 650 hectares of arable land and 1,000 New Zealand Romney breeding ewes, Shimpling Park also farms an additional 980 hectares of land for neighbouring farmers, all of which are managed organically. Diversifications on the farm include an extensive environmental scheme to support nature-friendly farming and various renewable energy projects, and the farm regularly hosts school visits and events.
    During the conversation, John and Alice discuss their journey from conventional to organic agriculture, as well as their decision to re-integrate livestock into their mainly arable system. They also touch on the role of farms as educational centres to help connect people with the story behind their food, before finishing with a discussion on agricultural policy and what the future of farming looks like for organic farmers, following the introduction of new environmental land management schemes.
    John and Alice also feature in the SFT's Feeding Britain from the Ground Up report, as an example of what future farming could look like. To find out more about their farm, watch this video.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

    • 51 min
    Prue Leith on her passion for cooking and the importance of food provenance

    Prue Leith on her passion for cooking and the importance of food provenance

    For this episode of the SFT podcast, Patrick Holden travelled to the Cotswolds to catch up with Dame Prue Leith – renowned restaurateur, cook, novelist and judge on the hugely popular Great British Bake Off. Prue recounts the incredible life she has led, from growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, to living in France where she discovered her passion for cooking.
    Prue and Patrick’s far-ranging discussion takes in everything from the value of cooking from scratch and the insidious rise of ultra-processed foods to the importance of connecting chefs with the provenance of their ingredients and the role of economics in enabling widescale uptake of organic and regenerative farming methods. 
    Prue Leith’s Cotswold Kitchen launches on ITV1 and ITVX on Saturday 24th February, and you can find out more about autobiography I’ll Try Anything Once here.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

    • 42 min
    Dave Chapman on the history and evolution of the organic movement

    Dave Chapman on the history and evolution of the organic movement

    As we reach the halfway point in this current series of the SFT podcast, Patrick Holden becomes the interviewee in a conversation with Dave Chapman on all things organic.
    Dave is the co-founder of the Real Organic Project, a farmer-led movement based in the US which aims to strengthen people’s understanding of the organic movement, including the traditional values and practices. Dave has devoted much of his life to organic farming and is also the co-founder of Vermont Organic Farmers.
    In this episode, Patrick and Dave both share how they came to be involved in the organic movement in the UK and US respectively, and reflect on how the movement has changed over time and continues to develop across the world. Later on in the episode, they discuss the challenges associated with commercialising organic standards and how in doing so this risks diluting the philosophy and basic principles behind the movement. Speaking from the US, Dave also talks about how organic standards there have deteriorated in recent years with the rise of so-called organic CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) and hydroponics, and how this could influence the organic standards of other countries around the world.
    To find out more about the Real Organic Project, visit https://realorganicproject.org.
    This episode is also available to listen to on the Real Organic Project’s website here.
    To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

malzerowaste ,

ZACH BUSH interview 14/2/2021

Well done Patrick, first for conducting that interview in the first place and second - and perhaps equally importantly, asking the questions that are on everyone's mind about this fascinating subject. What Zach Bush is saying of course is nothing short of explosive, not just about the buccaneering of the Chemical companies "How can glyphosate still be on sale in Sainsbury's??? FFS - when Bayer set $10 billion aside to pay thousands of cases brought against them seeking compensation (because they lost) -How can they delay those payments legitimately might be another big question. Underneath all this is another systemic issue - and I know you share THIS frustration - we are looking into the faces of our babies, our toddlers, teenagers and venturing student children and trying to explain to them (something I refer to myself as the Greta Thunberg effect0 why we cannot simply stop doing the bad things (if we know they are that bad -as we do) and invest immediately at whatever it takes in cost -to start doing the good things that we know will fix the problem. Why can't we simply admit the mistake collectively and change course TODAY.? You rightly steered the interview along those lines and Zach answered honestly from his perspective, it was edifying to hear that candour and directness from you both. The question is what can we do TODAY, Tomorrow and the day after to rid the world of this profit-driven pollution and concentrate on feeding our children with clean, nutritious, life-enhancing food and water. My own question is what can Wales do? Its a country that is small enough and moody enough to be revolutionary - to create self-sufficiency using regenerative methods -to aim to feed itself healthily. If Wales committed to doing that in the next decade - and succeeded - maybe others will follow. What say you Patrick /Zach?

everyfingnameistaken ,

Sorely needed podcast

Brilliant podcast with eloquent experts on a topic which urgently needs addressing.

CellarmanSam ,

Urgent, relevant podcast

Patrick asks the questions we need answers to. The guests are uniformly fascinating. An urgent and important listen.

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