Milk Monday: Not in my Cuppa receives recognition for creatively changing the face of British farming

On June the 1st, The World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA) dairy campaign, “Not in my Cuppa” was unanimously voted as a winner in the Public Affairs category at the The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) 2011 Excellence Awards.

Through the Not in my Cuppa campaign, WSPA UK has seen some great successes over the past 18 months.

Springing into action in early 2010, following Nocton Dairies‘ proposals for a massive 8,100 cow mega dairy in Lincolnshire, the Not in My Cuppa crew brought the issues at stake to the attention of MPs and the British public with a thoroughgoing campaign on all fronts. No less than 50 elected MPs got on board to oppose the intensification of the UK dairy industry and the issue was very much on the agenda for the rest of the year.

The judges praised the campaign for it’s creativity and said that, “It would not be an overstatement to say that their work has changed the future of British farming and established WSPA’s reputation as a force for the future.” It is also remarkable how the campaign proved able to grow support through social media and the formation of a powerful alliance with other organisations such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Compassion in World Farming, 38 Degrees, Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association.

Suzi Morris, WSPA UK Director said “We are seeing an increasingly concerned wider public in speaking out against factory farming and are optimistic that together, we can make the right choices for the future regarding how we get our milk in this country.”

This is all great news. Standing back from it for a moment, I am impressed and heartened that it is possible to enlist the hearts and minds of a large proportion of British people to take a stand on their values and make a clear statement about how much we care about where our food comes from and how it is produced. The multi-faceted campaign elicited a firm “No!” to mega dairies on this island that will hopefully be a stance that weathers the future. There will undoubtedly be more battles to fight to keep US style factory farming, that treats animals as machines, out of Britain. I’d like to think that this approach to food production is broadly considered “unbritish” and that we, as a nation, will look for creative ways to meet our needs in the future that are not purely based on turning a big profit with no regard for our traditions or the enslavement of animals.

However, the ultimate withdrawal of the Nocton Plans in February this year was the end of the first skirmish in a continuing battle. In April, the WSPA publicly opposed Welsh mega dairy plans and worked with the Ecologist on their ‘what’s in your cuppa’ expose. A joint report with the Soil Association on the effect of intensive farming on small farmers has also been released.

Well done to the Not in My Cuppa team and I wish you all the best as you and your partners hold the line!

Source: WSPA; Not in My Cuppa

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