NFU responds to Efra Committee soils report

05 December 2023

david exwood soil 05

NFU environment forum chair Richard Bramley, who gave evidence to the Efra Committee inquiry into soil health, said today that investing in the health of the nation’s soil is a key cornerstone in helping to ensure the future of sustainable food production.

Welcoming many of the Committee’s recommendations, he said: "Healthy soil underpins our productive farming systems, offers resilience to climate change and delivers huge benefits for the environment, the farmed and non-farmed landscape.

“There is much in the Efra Committee report that we agree with. This includes funding the widespread, standardised testing of soil through the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme and working with the industry on an agreed set of metrics for soil health with widely accepted definitions of sustainable soil management by the end of 2024.

“The NFU also welcomes the recommendation within the report urging government to ensure that sustainable farming is profitable by addressing supply chain demands and guaranteeing that ELMs pay attractive rates for a wide range of ambitious soil-improvement measures such as the use of innovative precision farming.

“As we celebrate World Soils Day today, farmers and growers are already doing fantastic work in protecting and managing their soil. But as highlighted in our own Foundation of Food report, by working together to better preserve and enhance this most valuable national resource, we can make significant progress towards our goal of net zero by 2040, while delivering for the environment and continuing to produce sustainable climate-friendly food.”