Since World War Two, farming has been synonymous with growing as much food as possible. In wealthy countries, this has led to overabundance which is driving environmental and human health problems. We now know we need land to provide more than just food. As well as producing healthy and sustainable food, farmers must be empowered to rise to the challenge of offering restored habitats, carbon removal, wood for construction and land that soaks up floodwater and stores it through droughts. This will involve rethinking what farming is about.
Our report Land of opportunity explores how we can go about doing this. It demonstrates how paying for nature restoration on farmland could raise farm incomes, reduce carbon emissions and increase bird populations by half.
In this episode, Green Alliance policy director Dustin Benton spoke to the Soil Association’s chief executive, Helen Browning, about agroecology, organic and regenerative farming, and what these traditions can do to help build a nature positive and carbon negative food system.