Responding to the NFU's plan unveiled today (Monday September 10) for British farming to deliver net zero, Rob Percival, head of food and health policy at the Soil Association said:

“We welcome the NFU’s leadership on the climate crisis and the ambitious targets they have set to achieve ‘net zero’, but equal leadership is needed in response to the nature crisis.

“The NFU’s ‘net zero’ plan is over-reliant on bioenergy and unproven productivity ambitions to offset emissions. Further intensification risks undermining their goal to store carbon in soils and will further threaten biodiversity. Trees on farms and soil carbon storage are already proven to work and should be a much greater focus.

READ MORE: NFU unveils its plan for British farming to deliver net zero

“Dietary change is also needed. The NFU is right to shift the focus away from grass-fed ruminant livestock, but we need to eat less grain-fed pork and poultry, which are reliant on ecologically damaging imported feed crops. High consumption of grain-fed meat simply off-shores our dietary emissions.

“The Government must now support farmers in a ten year transition to agroecology, as called for in the recent RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. Agroecological systems like agroforestry and organic must be at the heart of our response to the climate and nature crises.”