A musician and a former TV presenter are aiming to start a food revolution to ensure making a meaningful contribution towards tackling the climate crisis is as easy as choosing a pizza.

Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and former Big Brother’s Little Brother host George Lamb run Wildfarmed which has its HQ at Colleymore Farm in Coleshill, near Faringdon, and aims to change the way food is produced.

The methods they use and encourage include growing crops alongside other plants in pastures and allowing cattle to graze there, essentially replicating natural processes.

The flour and therefore bread produced is more nutritious and tasty, they say, and benefits the environment both in terms of biodiversity and in the amount of carbon from the atmosphere being captured by the soil.

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Mr Cato, 49, a musician whose hits include Grammy-nominated Superstylin and I See You Baby, runs a flagship farm rented from the National Trust.

He said: “The world’s most complex problem has a simple solution: food. If we fix food, we fix the planet. It all starts with the soil.

Oxford Mail:

"What if we could grow a range of super tasty, highly nutritious food that is available to everyone, not just the privileged few. So that every single piece of toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch or bowl of pasta for dinner is a decision that directly shapes the health of our planet? That would be wild.”

Co-founders of Wildfarmed, which was started in 2018, are Ed Lees, who left his job in the City to join, and former TV presenter George Lamb.

Mr Lamb, 42, became disillusioned with his media career and in 2018 founded GROW - an education programme that works in schools and communities to promote mental wellbeing, physical health and a more hands-on relationship with nature.

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Together they aim to make it easier and more appealing to adopt regenerative and restorative farming practices and to provide a marketplace of sorts for those farmers who are doing so.

Mr Lamb said: “And the next thing you know, we’ve got 40 farms between Cumbria and Cornwall farming under our methods and 20 people in an office and 100 different outlets selling our bread and we’re having a go at it."

He hopes having the Wildfarmed products more widely available will also help consumers connect with the issue of the climate crisis.

He said: “If you can’t engage day to day with something simple that will actually change things that are meaningful, nothing’s going to change."

Oxford Mail:

Mr Cato's farming journey started 15 years ago when he was on his way back from playing a gig and read an article about the horrors of the industrial food system.

He was struck by its conclusion that “if you don't like the system, don't depend on it”.

In a self-proclaimed “act of lunacy” he sold the publishing rights to his music and bought a 100-hectare farm in Gascony, France.

In 2018, the farm was given an award for being the most innovative in France and he became the first Briton to be made Chevalier L’Order Merit de Agricole and in 2020, was awarded the Laureate prize for innovation by the The French Ministry of Agriculture.

He and his wife Jo, who he met while studying Modern History at Merton College,  recently returned to the UK with their family and out of 3,500 applicants he won a 20-year tenure of the 295-hectare farm which has become Wildfarmed’s HQ, rented from the National Trust.

Mr Cato is now a full-time farmer, but he still finds time to DJ, with occasional gigs in the UK and Ibiza and regular releases.

Mr Lamb said: “If we’re going to move the ecological dial we need to make real food affordable. We always talk about being on the road to Greggs, because if Wildfarmed isn’t in Greggs, Subway, Dominoes then we’ve failed."

“If it were simply another loaf of expensive bread, there wouldn’t be any point in doing this, because it wouldn’t change things,” added Mr Lees.

A short film, A Story About Bread, which aims to tell the story of Wildfarmed – with some strong language - is on You Tube.