The Sustainable Food Trust warmly welcomes this important and refreshing new report, ‘Farming for Change’ by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. Arguably this is the first in-depth study of the application of agroecological farming practices that are in harmony with nature and which truly address the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and the decline in food quality, all characteristics of our present unsustainable farming system.
It is important that the report also highlights the need for dietary changes to complement the changes in output and productivity resulting from the nationwide application of this kind of farming system. Another much welcomed element of the report is the recognition of the important role that grazing animals, such as cattle and sheep, will play in building natural soil fertility. This is an important requirement if farmers are to massively reduce their nitrogen fertiliser use, which will be necessary in order to meet our emission reduction targets.
We very much hope that the publication of this report opens the way for a national conversation about the implications of shifting to an agricultural system which truly addresses the emission reduction targets set by the Government, the National Farmers Union and others.