New office, new team for the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) has moved to a new office and strengthened its team of paid staff.

pfla

Russ Carrington with the PFLA’s new Dairy Manager Sophia Morgan-Swinhoe, meet with Herefordshire dairy farmer Chris Norman (second from right) along with PFLA member Christine Page

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) has moved to a new office and strengthened its team of paid staff. This follows a surge in membership passing 250, and the establishment of varied initiatives surrounding the rearing and selling of 100% grass-fed beef, lamb and dairy products.

The PFLA has moved to the new business innovation centre called Farm491 at Trent Lodge in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Set up in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) to create a centre of excellence for entrepreneurship, the offices also offer access to meeting rooms and other facilities that PFLA can take advantage of.

Joining Executive Secretary Russ Carrington there will be Laura Elliot, the new Membership Officer, taking over from Harry Greenfield, who has gone on to develop agricultural policy for the RSPB.

Laura lives on a 122-hectare organic farm in Gloucestershire with her husband and young daughter. They have a small flock of Shetland Sheep and a Shetland cow.

A graduate of the University of East Anglia, Laura has previously held positions with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

“I am passionate about sustainable and ecologically sound methods of farming, and am currently building up my knowledge of wild flowers and plants, of which we are lucky to have many on the farm.

“I am looking forward to supporting and building the membership of the PFLA – which is my priority,” says Laura. “I will also be supporting the directors and getting involved with events and communications at this exciting time in the organisation’s history.”

Sophia Morgan-Swinhoe has been taken on to investigate the prospects for Pasture for Life milk production, starting with eight dairy farmers who already produce milk with no concentrates.

Sophia will be looking at how potential supply chains can work to link these farmers with consumers looking for dairy products like this.

“I am thrilled to have been appointed as the Pasture for Life Dairy Manager,” says Sophia. “I have broad farm-to-fork experience and a passion for ethical food production. I have worked on many farms, as well as managing two large catering operations, including at the Centre for Alternative Technology in North Wales.”

Sophia also runs a mixed farm holding focused on producing chemical-free strawberries and a growing goat herd, and will be selling milk and kefir – a fermented milk drink, once the dairy has been constructed.

“I am delighted that the PFLA now has a professional base in Cirencester, after being run from my dining room at home for the first four years,” says PFLA Executive Secretary Russ Carrington.

“The rise in membership and the number of farmers becoming Pasture for Life certified, shows how seriously people are now taking 100% grass-fed production. This gives us the confidence to invest in places, people and promotion to take this concept to scale.

“Being close to the RAU also gives us opportunities, not least to offer work placements for students. We also now have room for other volunteers to come and help running the PFLA.

“The next AGM is being held at the RAU on Wednesday 28 September, so those attending will be able to visit our new offices!”

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