March 24, 2021
Joined-up action for food & farming sustainability
Climate change is a challenge the best of British food and farming is well-placed to address, alongside the loss of BPS and introduction of ELMS, growing legislative and environmental pressures and a diminishing crop protection armoury, believes Agrii head of technical, Clare Bend.
However, she insists it can only do these together by applying the best scientific intelligence and practical experience in a thoroughly joined-up way; a way which makes the most of the synergies among different economic, environmental and social sustainability aims while balancing what can be seriously competing pressures between them.
“The one thing that seems to be stacking up faster than the challenges farming faces these days is the often impractical advice we’re getting from all sides on what needs to be done,” she stressed at this month’s launch of Agrii’s industry-wide sustainability improvement initiative.
“Green Horizons is our recipe for replacing the clamour of conflicting sustainability messages with well-researched, planned and focussed action. Through its package of practical measures, we intend to make sustainability really work for British food and farming.
“It’s all about actions rather than words from everyone in our business; progressive across-the-board improvement based on sound science, and harnessing the sort of forward-thinking so evident at businesses like Whitbread Farms to develop better practice for consistent gains.”
These businesses will form part of the thought-leading Green Horizons farmer network being developed as part of the initiative which also includes an annual innovation awards scheme; fast-track bio-solutions screening programme; advanced soil health assessment regime; Net Zero Carbon iFarms; reduced input R&D challenge projects; accredited environmental training and extended enterprise benchmarking.
“Underpinning everything we do moving forward, our initiative is also geared to making the voice of practical farming sustainability heard, understood and increasingly appreciated beyond the industry,” Clare added. “We are already working closely with a broad range of food industry, environmental and other partners to bring this about, and look forward to extending this engagement to all those who share our ambition for a truly sustainable countryside – economically, environmentally and socially.”