Herefordshire Food Charter. Healthy food for people, place and planet

farming smarterAlliance coordinator Rebecca has been at the Oxford Real Farming Conference this week. It's now the biggest event for 'agroecological' farming (modern, mixed, with nature and food production side by side) on the planet.  It was great to see new and existing alliance contacts there!

Hear more about the ORFC on Farming Today here  and below is one snapshot from Rebecca - for more snapshots check the blog.

Financing the transition to Agroecology
There was lots of talk of baselines at this session - there are now global and national targets to reduce emissions, which requires measurement in itself, but also targets to protect nature, also needing to be measured with much of the work for this being passed to farmers. 

The barriers highlighted to financing the transition needed to nature-friendly farming included: 

  • Financial institutions being unfamiliar with agroecology.  Many farmers have shifted their methods simply because they are have less risk, but institutions are unaware of this.  As an alliance one thing we can do is keep sharing the message of the methods that have been proven to work and we can all do this.
  • It was also agreed that some smaller farms have some of the best hopes of transitioning to methods that reduce emmissions and increase biodiversity - but they are already struggling with low margins. How do we support these farms now?

The NFU outlined 5 key principles that should underpin any environmental 'markets'  - including that anything offered would need to work alongside the production of food.

The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC) are looking into setting up an agroecology development bank specifically for this. 

Would this benefit farms in Herefordshire?

It was agreed that reducing emissions needs to go hand in hand with biodiversity, water management and other aspects that

Here's Ben, a Herefordshire farmer featured on the FFCC website talking about Agroecology and you can read more in the two reports below.






Who we Are

The Herefordshire Food Charter is an initiative of the Herefordshire Food Alliance, a network of individuals and organisations from across the county involved in local, community and sustainable food action.

The Alliance is a member of the national Sustainable Food Places network and is co-ordinated by New Leaf Sustainable Development with support from Herefordshire Council and Sustainable Food Places.

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