Home Farmer's Inside Track WATCH: Ethical farming is the future of agriculture

WATCH: Ethical farming is the future of agriculture

Soldier turned poultry farmer Robert Patson believes that humanely sourced foods preserves our future

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Farmer’s Inside Track this week features founder of Happy Land Farms owner Robert Patson, who believes the future of agriculture lies in ethical farming.  

Patson, a former paratrooper with the British army, made a dramatic career shift after he watched the Academy Award winning documentary, Food Inc 

The shocking revelation of mass food production inspired him to become an ethical farmer and his very own chicken enterprise was born in 2016, in the Johannesburg suburb of Kyalami. 

READ MORE: Former paratrooper is now an ethical food warrior 

In the video, Patson highlights the pitfalls of climate change, making the exciting shift from agri-processor to agripreneur and the importance of sustaining and solidifying better future for generations to come. “I see the ethical way being the only way going forward with the news being spread nowhelping people realize that they are actually being misled by these inhumane food practices. Their conscience will eventually kick in and it will not be a niche market (anymore),” he says. 

The poultry farmer says he was fuelled by a moral obligation to produce ethical food. After winning an award in his poultry group for his farming efforts, he says this was the moment of reassurance. It further inspired him to become more aggressive in the marketing of his produce. 

“Once they gave me recognition in my first year, I said okay, I must be onto something good. And from there on I was just propelled to be more aggressive in the market.” 

Patson’s motivation stems from his daughterThandi. “People are being misled about the nutritional value of food products. I can’t expect my child to eat the type of inhumane practices that are transferred into her food. I just wanted to play my part in ensuring that she and future generations have ethically produced foods,” he affirms. 

Like many agriculturalists he has faced several challenges. He, however, cites load shedding as a constant dark cloud that looms over his business. “The biggest obstacle is the lack of energy source which is happening in our industry, especially on the breeding side, your incubators, your death rate is increasing due to the interrupted power supply.” 

Farming is not rocket science,” Patson says. He believes that as long as you are producing high quality products, access to market should not be an issue. The poultry farmer encourages up-and-coming farmers to look into shifting focus towards farming fruits and vegetables. 

“There is a growing vegetarian/vegan market, so if people focus on growing fruits and vegetables, they are going to be in a pretty much recession-proof business. Especially where the climate conditions are worse in other countries, but more favourable here in South Africa.” 

  • Would you like to feature on the Farmer’s Inside Track podcasts and videos series? Send us a WhatsApp on +27 81 889 9032 or visit farmersinsidetrack.co.za 
  • Farmer’s Inside Track is proudly brought to you by Food For Mzansi, Africa’s Best Digital News Start-up. Advertisers who wish to explore opportunities on any of the Farmer’s Inside Track channels can e-mail ivor@foodformzansi.co.za and kobus@foodformzansi.co.za. 
Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.
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