This week, the National Farmers’ Union published their plan for achieving net zero emissions from UK agriculture by 2040, an ambitious target which was also the subject of our recent conference, organised in partnership with the NFU.

Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, said, “We salute Minette Batters for her vision and leadership in setting a bold timescale for achieving net zero emissions from UK farming and are delighted to have our Sustainability Metric mentioned in the report as a way to measure on-farm sustainability. The NFU initiative has completely changed the debate about how farming can respond to the climate change threat. Now every farmer in the land should be asking the same question, how can I achieve net zero by 2040?

Some commentators have criticised the degree to which the current transition relies on offsets and bioenergy, but in my view these are issues that can be debated in a spirit of common purpose and transparency over the coming months and years. I myself am in the process of installing a system to capture the methane from my own animal manures. Although personally I would prefer that farmers did not use edible crops in biodigestors, I believe this is all grist to the mill of the important debates that lie ahead.

I’ve been advocating for sustainable agriculture for 40 years and never believed the day would come when I could work in harmony with the NFU on matters of environmental sustainability, but that day has come.”

Read the NFU report here.

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