New devolved governments told to back sustainable farming

The NFFN's manifesto sets out ways to ensure farming's profitability while supporting the net-zero target
The NFFN's manifesto sets out ways to ensure farming's profitability while supporting the net-zero target

A group of environmentally-focused farmers have called on the next Scottish and Welsh governments to introduce climate-friendly farming practices.

The Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) has launched its manifesto ahead of the 6 May elections, urging new devolved governments to back sustainable practices.

Farmers in Scotland and Wales want new pledges that back strong environment and agriculture policies which recognise nature-friendly practices as a central part of food production.

The organisation works with hundreds of farmers across the two nations, who report on the benefits of nature-friendly farming.

These include increased yields and biodiversity, to carbon sequestration and improved soil health.

Key asks of the next government include helping farmers provide nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis and new support for rural communities and economies.

Michael Clarke, NFFN Scotland Chair, said new support for farmers was needed following a 'period of unprecedented difficulty'.

"The future government will be presented with a unique opportunity to deliver a clear roadmap and ambitious policies that put nature and community resilience at the heart of food production.

"With the right tools and support in place, farmers can lead on reversing biodiversity loss and the transition to a net-zero economy,” he said.

The NFFN has also called for more support directed to helping farmers produce healthy and sustainable food while improving public health.

Hillary Kehoe, NFFN Cymru Chair, added that the future survival of all farming businesses 'depends on a thriving environment'.

"With the right policies and support in place, farmers are uniquely positioned to accelerate positive change at scale," she said.

"The next Welsh government can and must strive for a more nature-friendly, profitable farming industry.

"Our manifesto sets out the tasks ahead that would ensure the long-term profitability of the farming sector while supporting the government to reach climate targets."