Dairy farm hosting vegan-friendly tour to ‘break down barriers'
A dairy farm in Dumfries and Galloway is to host a vegan-friendly tour in a bid to “break down barriers”.
The Ethical Dairy will welcome vegans and people on plant-based diets to Rainton Farm on Thursday May 21.
It forms part of a programme created by the farm and cheese maker after requests from members of the public.
The one-off event will create a “safe space” for visitors with concerns about farming to ask questions directly to the farm team led by David and Wilma Finlay.
Ms Finlay said: “This event is about breaking down barriers and recognising that there are many different reasons why people make the dietary choices they do, and as producers of food we are respectful of the choices our customers make.
“For example, we have many regular customers who are themselves following plant-based diets but buy dairy produce for their children or partner.
“The idea behind these events is basically to share our experience, explain why we do things the way we do and, where possible, to share our skills.
“We have welcomed visitors onto our farm for many years, in fact it was feedback from those Cream o’ Galloway visitors that encouraged us to try cow with calf farming in the first place.
“So we are very much looking forward to running these new in-depth farm events, explaining our approach and creating a safe space where people can ask questions about our farm.”
The Rainton farm committed to permanently following “cow with calf” farming – rather than separating them – last autumn after successfully concluding a three-year pilot.
Mr Finlay, who introduced the idea, said: “Food production and land use has never been more political or contentious.
“For as long as the media and big commercial interests continue to whip up conflict and opposition between people who hold different points of view, agreeing a pathway to sustainability and net zero production will be impossible.
“It’s time everyone started listening to each other.
“We all have a little piece of the solution to climate change, we all have lots we can learn from each other, and we all have a vested interest in the long term viability of our planet.
“It’s time we cut the crap, stopped the propaganda and started working together on practical solutions to feeding our population in a climate-conscious way.”
Tickets for the tour, starting at 11am, cost £30 and include a vegan lunch.