Thanks to all who took the time to respond to our recent consultation on the Global Farm Metric (GFM).

We had a strong response rate from across the coalition and our farmers working group and good representation from the different stakeholder groups, with a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise.

We are very pleased with the level of consensus: overall we had 98% confidence in the high-level Categories and 86% confidence in the Indicators within each of the 11 Categories.

As a farmer-led initiative, we are pleased that 35% of responses were from farmers and land managers, reconfirming their interest in a data-driven whole farm perspective aligned to existing initiatives (eg AHDB Farm Bench, LEAF Sustainable Farming Review).

Attached is a detailed summary of the consultation feedback and our proposed steps for the refinement of the GFM Categories and Indicators.

Below are some key points:

  • The GFM is an unbiased framework; it is science-based and does not promote a particular approach to farming and land management. It is designed to be applicable to all farming and land use systems, and is adapted for food, feed, fodder and fiber managed systems as well as natural systems.
  • Revised wording and more detailed descriptions: we will review and edit descriptions where descriptions lacked clarity and would benefit from more detail. We will also share the full list of Metrics that feed into each Indicator to guide discussions and revisions.
  • We will highlight and explain crossovers between Categories for ease of understanding, particularly in relation to ‘Productivity’ and the efficient use of farm resources relating to the other Categories.
  • Reframe ‘Climate & Air’ Category: the strong interest in carbon is evident. We will work with experts to review the indicators, reframe air quality and align with industry-level initiatives.
  • ‘Complexity of Biodiversity’: the above and below ground and aquatic biodiversity will be more clearly articulated. We will work to review how we best organise, capture and communicate biodiversity on farm more clearly.
  • Group nutritional value: we will build greater consistency in presenting the nutritional value of plant, crop and animal products, and incorporate these into ‘Social Capital’.
  • The ‘Social Capital’ Category had the lowest support overall (92%); the qualitative feedback will guide how we revise the indicators, in particular, in broadening the health and community engagement indicators.

The quality of the feedback has been very helpful in identifying where we need to make changes, where there are industry initiatives that are worth re-engaging with, and where there is further research and refinement required.

We will now organise meetings with respondents from across our coalition and key experts to review the feedback and refine the categories and indicators as detailed in the attached note.

Thank you again for your time responding to our consultation and we look forward sharing progress on the refinement with the Metrics Working Group, and then updating the wider Coalition.

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