As British agriculture experiences growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions farmers across the UK consider how their farm business will be impacted and how they can continue to farm profitability into the future.
Farming with nature can maximise returns, offer viability in changing markets, increase profitability through reduced inputs and ensure a more adaptable landscape.
That was the findings of the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFFN) new report Rethink Farming, which has called on farmers to urgently scale and pace the adoption of nature-based solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss or face an uncertain future.
It included 18 case studies which highlighted practical on-farm action for restoring the natural environment so farming can weather the worst of increasing climate shocks.
Martin Lines chair of the NFFN said: “It is in farmers’ best interests to start acting on climate change and nature recovery, so we are in a good place for maximising opportunities for funding for public goods, and further down the line, to capitalise on returns from private markets.
“We know that farming is contributing to ecological disruption. And the science is clear, we have 10 years to avoid the worst effects of the climate emergency. Simple solutions can have the greatest impacts in preparing farming for what is to come.”
The report included research from 726 members of the public and NFFN farming members, which revealed 98 per cent of farmers wanted farming to do more to address climate change and biodiversity loss but 71 per cent felt the industry was not equipped to deal with the challenges at the same time as sustainably producing food.
Ninety-seven per cent of farmers thought consumers needed to be better educated about the value of natural assets on farms, and more than nine in 10 said food labels should clearly identify production measures.
As such, the NFFN has called for greater ambition from the Government in elevating the key role farming plays in delivering for net-zero, with long-term investment investment in climate-friendly farming, mandatory labelling for domestic and imported producers to quantify farming’s environmental impacts and a greater link between farming incentives and the contribution the sector can make towards nature recovery.
It also urged the Government to prevent the import of commodities linked to deforestation or conversion of carbon-rich eco-systems and a review of existing policies with a focus on sustainable food systems and shortening supply chains.
“We have a moral obligation to act on this after decades of intensification have contributed to the challenges we face,” Mr Lines added. “It is not just farmers, it is everyone.”
Article taken from farmer’s guardian