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Wildfarmed x Franco Manca – a partnership in flour power

Every week, across our 69 restaurants up and down the UK, we use a whopping 21,250 kg of flour to make our famous sourdough.

Yep, it’s a lot of flour – we love the stuff! Hand kneaded and then proved for 24 hours, the dough is the foundation of our delicious pizza. It only contains the simplest ingredients: sea salt, water, our 18th century sourdough starter, and flour.

So it goes without saying that the flour we choose for our dough is hugely important, not only for its flavour, but also for its impact on your health and the planet. That’s why we are delighted to be using Wildfarmed flour, which is produced using regenerative farming methods that encourage biodiversity and help to restore soils and ecosystems.

So what does this really mean in practice? It means keeping the soil covered with a diversity of plants, growing cereals with companion crops rather than as monocultures, and planting diverse cover crops to fill any gaps in the cycle. It also means integrating livestock grazing into cropping systems, growing without pesticides and using soil and plant testing to ensure that any nutritional amendments are only those required for the health of the crop. All of these standards are subject to independent third party auditing by Control Union, so you know that it’s properly monitored.

These processes also have wider reaching benefits for us and our environment. A third party life cycle analysis found that Wildfarmed flour is carbon negative, and showed that crops grown under these Standards contain 30% more antioxidants compared to those conventionally grown.

Healthy soil means better food AND an increased capacity to retain moisture, which is the basis of food security in a changing climate. So we’re not only feeding ourselves with higher quality and more nutritious food right now, but we’re also safeguarding the future of these crops for generations to come.

It sounds (and is) pretty revolutionary today, but this is how farming worked for millenia, before the industrialisation of agriculture exploded in the 20th century. It’s fantastic that more and more farmers are making the leap to join Wildfarmed, where they find a connected, mutually supportive community which is making a real difference.

The Franco Manca team visited Colleymore Farm in Oxfordshire to see all this in action, led by Wildfarmed co-founder Andy Cato. We were blown away by how alive the fields were, full of healthy, varied crops and teeming with wildlife, and by Andy’s story and passion. Now there’s even more reason (as if you needed more) to enjoy your sourdough pizza with us and to feel great about your choice. We’re all hugely excited about this partnership and here’s to the future of farming!

Find out more about Wildfarmed here.

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