A former dairy farmer has transformed his business to be solely plant-based.
Laurence Candy, 50, runs Northwood Farm in Manston, Dorset, which produced dairy products for 60 years but now grows oat, wheat, and fava beans. In Autumn 2020, his organic milk contract ended and he said he “had to decide either to give up organic farming or carry on organic but do something else”.
Instead, he decided to send the 38 cows in his dairy herd at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, and transition to growing crops instead.
In October 2022, he received the Biocyclic Vegan Standard, which requires he no longer use livestock or animal by-products. He said the transition to animal-free has been an “enormous change for myself and my elderly father”.
Mr Candy is now the UK’s first certified biocyclic certified farmer, meaning he is an organic farmer who does not rear animals or use any animal input in the running of his farm.
He added: “Farmers run businesses, but at the end of the day, we are human beings. I remember I had some beef animals to sell, but I couldn’t do it; this was probably the first time I had to fight with my conscience.” Laurence now farms wheat and oats, and fava beans