The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of our dysfunctional relationship with nature, environment and our food with studies linking the disease to the collapse of ecosystems and wildlife destruction. We need to rethink how we approach and value food, nature, the environment and our economy. It’s vital that we ensure a Green Recovery to build back better after the Covid-19 crisis.
One thing is certain, nature friendly farming has huge role to play in securing a Green Recovery. Nature friendly farming can help tackle the climate and ecological crises, support vibrant rural communities and economies, produce plentiful healthy sustainable food and improve public health. In order to help achieve this we urge all political parties to commit to the following 6 key asks:
- Maintain and redirect payments towards mainstreaming nature friendly farming
- Commit to zero carbon agriculture by 2040
- Maintain strong environmental and animal welfare standards
- Build markets for nature friendly farming products
- Invest in local food systems
- Educate on food, farming and nature
Farmers should be better supported and rewarded for the good work we do for nature and the environment. A sufficiently funded future agricultural policy has huge play to play here, and can help reverse wildlife declines whilst creating a stable, long term income for farmers. And let’s not forget that simple nature-based solutions such as tree and hedgerow planting, encouraging grassland biodiversity and peatland management can play a big role in tackling climate change.
Farming also needs to be profitable. We need a food system that ensures farmers earn a fair return whilst ensuring food is healthy, affordable and sustainably produced. Shorter and more transparent food supply chains can help achieve this. Many NFFN farmers are changing the way they supply the food they produce, and are marketing directly to the public, through local supply chains or online. Furthermore, food produced to high nature and environmental standards should be recognised in the market and that farmers adhering to them are rewarded.
Currently, there’s a disconnect between customers and farmers and a lack of understanding on what is good or bad for the environment. We need to educate people where their food comes from and the positive environmental, social and economic impacts of nature friendly farming systems.
The wonderful thing about food is that you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.
To find out more about our key asks please click here.
Thank you all for your continued support.
NFFN Cymru Steering Group