‘Over and over we heard how they love their work’.

Farmers and environmentalists agree – food security is only possible if farming is environmentally sustainable

Deliberative workshop reveals farmers are on board with climate and nature goals

New, refreshing, from-the-horses-mouth research from IPPR makes for uplifting reading amongst so many negative messages about the UK’s food and farming sector. The research is ongoing and you can get involved (see below).

“How can farming in England use the land to maximise decarbonisation, nature restoration, and sustainable food production in a fair way?”

When we directly ask the human beings who feed us, the farmers and farmworkers, about their needs and experiences, a sense of possibility and passion emerges that is full of hope.

IPPR asked farmers and farmworkers in Somerset, Kent and Cumbria about what farming can do, and what it needs, to be able to tackle the climate, nature and food security emergencies simultaneously.

They all know that it can.

The research lists the eight challenges the farmers and farmworkers agree that they face, including the pace of change, financial precarity, simplistic policy solutions to complex problems and the impacts of climate and nature breakdown.

They then outline the changes they want to see, including better training pathways and more holistic support (think more widely to include better rural transport, affordable homes for landworkers), clear funding for nature friendly practices, and policy that reflects and supports the diversity of the sector.

Around 72 per cent of land is under some kind of agricultural production. In the face of the climate and nature crises, the risks and challenges are significant, but so are the opportunities.

For more on the challenges facing the farming community, see https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/a-fair-transition-for-farming