Net zero agriculture: Our latest media coverage

Stuart Roberts_72644

September 2020

guardian 23.9.20 greenpeace net zero_74927

The Guardian reported new analysis by Greenpeace that suggests cows, pigs and other farm livestock in Europe are producing more greenhouse gases every year than all of the bloc’s cars and vans put together. The NFU corrected these claims and explained why a focus on improving productivity is key to achieving net zero emissions.

July 2020

NFU President Minette Batters' responded to former president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England Max Hasting's op-ed in The Times and argued it is vital that we encourage entrepreneurial businesses to invest in the future of British food production, so as to provide carbon- neutral food.

The Times reported that taxes on methane and fertiliser have recommended, in a report by the Zero Carbon Commission, a group of scientists, economists and green campaigners, to give farmers an incentive to add methane-reducing supplements to their cattle feed. NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was quoted arguing that such measures could force increased reliance on imported food but farmers could instead boost production of renewable energy and carbon storage to become carbon neutral.

June 2020

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts featured on Sky News to talk about how farmers are investing in measures to tackle climate change. For Stuart, that means building a new cattle shed and grain store with a roof that will capture half a million litres of rain water a year.

May 2020

Business Green features an in-depth interview with NFU President Minette Batters centred around the NFU’s commitment to net zero. Minette reflects that agriculture is a solution to climate change and expressed frustration with the focus on dietary change. She also covered Brexit in detail, arguing that if Britain’s food standards are undermined, it would severely harm British farming businesses, and therefore seriously hamper the industry's ability to deliver on its 2040 net zero promise.


How farmers are tackling climate change

NFU environment forum member Richard Bramley featured as one of five farmers on the BBC Food website about how he makes his food production as environmentally friendly as possible.

Read the full article here.

Richard Bramley, BBC Food_72635

Tree planting

NFU member Frank Langrish told Sky News that we should think carefully about where we plant trees as our agricultural land is essential in producing sustainable food for the nation.  


Sir Ian Boyd and rewilding

The NFU defended the farming industry after Sir Ian Boyd’s comments that half of the nation’s farmland should be turned into woodlands to fight the climate crisis.

NFU Deputy President Guy Smith was quoted in The Guardian outlining the NFU’s net zero ambition and emphasising that we cannot halt climate change by exporting production abroad.

Read the full article here.

Mr Smith also featured on BBC Radio 4 PM.



Tree planting

The Times reflected on each political party’s promise to plant more trees, quoting NFU Deputy President Guy Smith saying that these plans must not diminish UK food production capacity.

Read the full article here.Guy Smith The Times_72636


Launch of the NFU's net zero report 

The NFU launched its Achieving Net Zero report which outlined how the British farming industry can become net zero by 2040, which resulted in plenty of media coverage of its ambitious plan.

The Guardian was given the story as an exclusive and covered the plan in detail, quoting NFU President Minette Batters throughout. 

Read the full article here.

Guardian net zero_72609

The report was also covered in BBC news bulletinsBBC Farming Today and Sky News Sunrise, featuring officeholders Minette Batters and Guy Smith.

Guy Smith on Sky News on the NFU's net zero report_68834


BBC Farming Week

The BBC held a Farming Week after conversations between the NFU and BBC about its farming coverage, which covered climate change and other issues.  

As part of the coverage, BBC Breakfast spent a week at Leicestershire farmer Joe Stanley's farm, and the Stanley's also featured across BBC News Channel. BBC Farming Week on Joe Stanley's farm_72640

The NFU press team worked with the BBC to produce an article that looks at how farmers are working to tackle climate change. 

Read the full article here.

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The RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission report

NFU Deputy President Guy Smith was interviewed by Sky News saying that the government should help farmers invest so they can maintain production while lowering their carbon footprint.

Guy Smith Sky News_72642

CCC update report

The CCC criticised the UK government and industries for the lack of progress towards a net zero economy.

Channel 4 News interviewed NFU President Minette Batters where she said public investment would be needed to help farmers tackle climate change. 

Minette Batters Channel 4 News_72643

Consumer's role in fighting climate change

Country Life magazine did a piece which explored how consumers can help slow down climate change by buying British produce. NFU Deputy President Guys Smith was interviewed where he highlighted the NFU's net zero ambition. 


CCC report on reaching net zero by 2050

The CCC issued a report about the UK’s contribution to stopping global warming, focusing on changing land use. 

The NFU landed plenty of coverage giving its reaction to the report, including:

  • BBC Radio 4's You & Yours and World at One: NFU President Minette Batters ​
  • BBC Radio 5 Live: NFU Deputy President Guy Smith and NFU Cymru President John Davies​
  • BBC Radio 1 NewsbeatNFU Deputy President Guy Smith and NFU Cymru President John Davies​​
  • BBC Radio 4 PM: NFU member Martin Lines​

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