The NFU has responded to a Committee on Climate Change report published today (15 November) on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through changes in land use.
NFU President Minette Batters said:
“The NFU has been clear with its position on British farming’s role in tackling climate change. Reducing livestock numbers in the UK is not a part of that policy.
"We are disappointed to see the Committee on Climate Change include that recommendation in its report. The report simply does not recognise the environmental benefits grass-fed beef and sheep production brings to the UK.
“It would be a fundamental mistake to design a farming system solely around an approach that mitigates greenhouse gases without any regard to the wider impact of such a policy for our environment and our food supply. It risks producing a one-eyed policy.”
NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said:
“The farming industry is on the forefront of climate change impacts; producing safe, traceable and affordable food is a daily challenge for UK farmers.
"Despite our concerns over parts of the report, British farmers are committed to playing their part to reach government targets. We are committed to doing so in a way that fulfils farmers' responsibility to the public in providing domestic food and delivering food security for the nation.
“Any future farming policy must enable farm businesses to meet the food production needs of the nation, alongside environmental ambitions.”