Food is our most intimate and vital commodity, yet too many of us have lost touch with the reality of where it comes from and how it is produced.
Providing a seasonal tour of a traditional farming year, passionate beef farmer Joe Stanley seeks to bridge this knowledge gap and inform the reader about the journey their food takes before it gets to the plate, revealing the realities of modern agricultural life for a British lowland farmer.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he strips observations of the countryside and agricultural practices down to the core of his day-to-day, illustrating how our food is produced and why our farmed landscape looks the way it does. Along the way, he offers insight into his daily routine, such as how crops are planted, why livestock is brought in for winter, and what happens at harvest, while addressing the bigger issues surrounding food standards, sustainability, the environment, rural heritage, trade and the future of agricultural policy outside the EU.
Often undermined as an antiquated pastime, agriculture is actually the core of a £122bn food and farming sector (the UK's largest manufacturing industry), and Farm to Fork stands as a testament to British agriculture and the heart that goes into the food our farmers produce, the environmental stewardship they deliver and the landscape they maintain, whether through the assurance of food quality, animal welfare or environmental sustainability.
This is a wonderfully-detailed and candid account of the life of a British farmer – of the highs and lows and lessons learned from a lifetime on the land.
An engaged grassroots NFU member, Joe Stanley is a well-known advocate for the food and farming sector via both mainstream and social media. A dedicated columnist for national newspapers and farming magazines, he has become a progressive voice for the farming industry and all that it represents for British farmers.
"A wide reaching, down to earth read helping people from all walks of life connect and understand the reality and the journey their food takes literally from farm, to fork. Nothing is missed."
– Hannah Jackson, The Red Shepherdess and Sunday Times bestselling author
"Joe is one of the most fascinating and passionate voices in farming. This book is a wonderful window into the everyday realities of food production and stewardship of the land across the year."
– James Wong, BBC Presenter
"A lucid and entertaining explanation of what farmers do, when they do it, why they do it [...] and why the rest of us should care."
– Charlotte Smith, BBC Radio 4 Farming Today