The SFT is pleased to support the key messages in The RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s ‘Our Common Ground’ progress report.

In particular, we very much welcome the call for a 10 year transition to more sustainable and integrated food and farming systems in order to rebuild our lost soil fertility and support vitally important rural communities.

The report highlights the importance of the use of good metrics and data to improve supply chain transparency, and the need to make nutritious, healthy, local food available and affordable for all.

To address this, the commission rightly calls for the effective application of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, and supports the introduction of policy mechanisms which discourage the over-use of damaging chemical inputs, including a tax on nitrogen fertiliser.

Through ensuring that external costs of our food and farming systems are internalised at source, rather than passed on to the detriment of the environment and public health, we will be able to produce food profitably and sustainably whilst also delivering ‘public goods’ such as soil health, increased biodiversity and climate change mitigation.

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