‘Foodture’ facilitates engagement with farmers

A Mayo farmer is behind Foodture, a not-for-profit initiative where people can find information on how to eat sustainably and where they can buy food that is fair to people, place and planet, direct from farmers and food producers.

“We are mapping access to fair food around Ireland and sharing the stories of farmers working to produce food in harmony with nature,” said Sinéad Moran.

“We also create content to help people on what we call their food citizenship journey. Food citizenship is a growing movement of people who engage with their food producers, how their food is produced and make informed food choices for a better food system,” she said.

“Nathalie Markiefka and I met while studying for our masters in climate change, agriculture and food security in Galway. Dismayed at the extent of issues facing our food system, we were driven to work together on the issues we’re passionate about. In early 2017, Foodture was born,” said Sinéad.

“Our background has taught us to look at how food is both produced and consumed when assessing its environmental footprint, social and economic impacts.

I think Wendall Berry’s ‘To eat is an agricultural act’ line sums it up best; to truly know what you are consuming you need to know how it was produced. And that’s what Foodture does; it provides a space for the truly sustainable farmers to share their story.

Sinéad and her partner Michael farm in east Mayo. “At Gleann Buí Farm, we manage about 30ac of high nature value farmland, running a mixed herd of 100% grass-fed shorthorns, moilie xs on species-rich grass, grass herb and wildflower.

“We are currently building a micro dairy on our farm to produce and process milk – raw milk, pasteurised, butter and more – to sell direct to a local market,” Sinéad said.

“We both want to make a living from the land but the current model of farming barely supports one individual. We want to conserve our patch of biodiverse rich grassland and to do that right, we need to be on the farm full time.

“To do that, we have had to not just diversify, but step outside the globalised, intensive food system and work to relocalise food production and consumption,” she said.

Fair food farmers

“Foodture is starting into the second part of this season’s podcast series where we talk with the change makers and innovators of Irish food and farming. We will also be sharing more on fair food farmers and running workshops on how to eat sustainably at events such as The Festival of Food in Airfield this September 7 and 8.

“We are also really excited to announce a new free two-part festival called ‘The Future is Rural’ in collaboration with The Irish Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth and the Museum of Country Life in Mayo on October 4 and 5.

“This two-part family friendly event will feature short films; talks; audience discussions; demonstrations; workshops; and more on our rural future through sustainable farming, food and community energy. More details and announcements can be found on our Facebook pages and the museum’s event page,” said Sinéad.

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