With growing awareness among consumers that our environment and wildlife are in trouble, more and more people are looking at their purchasing choices and assessing whether their purchases have a positive or negative impact on our planet.
This is why the RSPB believes it’s absolutely the right time to grow Fair to Nature, the gold-standard for nature-positive farming and products.
What is Fair to Nature?
Fair to Nature is the only UK farm scheme to deliver the scale of land management wildlife requires to thrive. Set up by Bill Jordan, of Jordans Cereals fame, in 1989, and now operated by the RSPB, it is the gold standard for nature-friendly farming.
The scheme helps farmers to create and manage diverse and successful wildlife habitats on their land. We then do our best to link up those farmers with like-minded businesses. Brands which support Fair to Nature farms can show their customers how they are supporting wildlife and create Fair to Nature certified products.
There are currently c14,000 hectares of Fair to Nature certified farmland in the UK and Bulgaria, delivering grain, bird seed, and other products such as lavender, rapeseed oil and horse feed. Fair to Nature began as an arable initiative and by working closely with wonderful Nature Friendly Farming Network farmers and the Fam Wildlife Partnership, the Fair to Nature Standard can now be used across the farming sector.
What are the key features of Fair to Nature?
Fair to Nature is designed to deliver the highest level of biodiversity through habitat and farm management. Farmer members dedicate at least 10% of their farmed land (including areas difficult to farm productively) to managed habitats which have been scientifically proven to reverse wildlife declines. These habitats include:
- Existing semi-natural habitats in good ecological condition – no minimum
- A minimum of 4% flower-rich habitats
- A minimum of 2% seed-rich habitats
- 1% wildlife-rich boundaries & margins
- One wet feature (c25m2) per 100ha
- Other in-field habitats, such as beetle banks, skylark plats and woodland – no minimum
Fair to Nature can now be implemented across all farm types – livestock, dairy, cereals, mixed cropping and horticultural, both conventional and organic systems, and is designed to fit with UK agri-environment schemes. As well as providing vital space for wildlife, the updated scheme also supports regenerative agriculture practices through the inclusion of progressive farm management plans focusing on reducing carbon emissions and increasing sequestration, on water protection and efficient use, on building and maintaining healthy soils, on managing the type and amount of nutrient inputs, on aspects of livestock husbandry and sustainable feed, and on the adoption of Integrated Pest Management to minimise pesticide use.
Keen to know more?
If you want to find out more about Fair to Nature, or are interested in signing up as a farmer member, please get in touch via our contact form at www.fairtonature.org.