Farmers at the forefront of climate change
With two in five of the world’s plants at risk of extinction according to a new report by The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, BBC Food reflects on the consequences for our food.
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts is quoted saying we’re getting more extreme events more frequently, and that’s because of climate change, and farmers are at the forefront facing into those weather events.
NFU complaint on BBC impartiality upheld
National media titles reported the NFU's official impartiality complaint in response to the BBC's Meat: A Threat to Our Planet being upheld and the programme subsequently being removed from the iPlayer. The coverage carried NFU President Minette Batters' quote that UK grass-based systems are incomparable with the intensive feedlot style systems shown on the programme.
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Farmers Guardian dedicated a whole issue to net zero agriculture and NFU Student and Young Farmer ambassador Harriet Bartlett was featured in its Young Farmer Focus column in which she reflects on how she feels honoured to work with farmers towards a more sustainable future, collecting information from farmers and carrying out assessments to quantify their land use and impact on biodiversity, carbon footprint, animal welfare, and antibiotic use.
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, when the impact of their feed is taken into account.
The NFU is quoted explaining why a focus on improving productivity is key to achieving net zero emissions, alongside maintaining and improving our storage of carbon in grassland and producing more renewable energy.
Meatless Farm launches new campaign
The Guardian reported a new campaign launching today from Meatless Farm, which targets people who have cut down on meat during lockdown. NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts is quoted emphasising British farmers' net zero agriculture goal and the importance of eating quality, nutritious red meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
NFU Deputy President questions Enfield Council's approach to climate crisis
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was interviewed on talkRADIO and told Mike Graham that Britain's livestock production system is one of the most sustainable in the world and questioned why the council did not consider its sourcing.
CCC report on land use
The NFU's response featured widely across the media, with NFU President Minette Batters highlighted that that British farmers are part of the solution to climate change on BBC Radio 4 Today (from 54 mins) and BBC 5Live Drive giving her reaction.
BBC Farming Today covered the report and spoke to NFU director of policy Andrew Clark, who said that reducing the amount of land used for production would be counterproductive as our grassland act as a valuable store of carbon.
The Mrs Batters' comments that emissions from UK beef are half the global average as well were also widely picked up by national newspapers.
NFU Cymru milk board chairman Abi Reader took on George Monbiot in Channel 4's Apocalypse Cow documentary which aired on 8 January, and she featured in Financial Times as well as BBC World Service’s Business Matters programme on the impact of veganism on farming alongside NFU President Minette Batters who added that a plant-based diet “should not masquerade as the only solution to climate change”.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts was quoted in The Times responding to new figures showing an 18% rise in sales of meat-alternatives. He said that people should look behind the label, and question where and how it has been produced. NFU member James Small was also interviewed on Sky News where he stressed that home-grown red meat plays a key part in a healthy, balanced diet.