Reports

A better business case for farming

How are we putting harmonised sustainability assessment at the heart of farming policy?

With the new UK farm policy schemes on the horizon, there’s a huge opportunity to create a better business case for farming in a way which addresses climate change, enhances biodiversity and improves public health. However, governments all over the world are under severe pressure to justify where public money is spent, not least due to the debts which have built up as a result of the pandemic.

As such, this reportdetails the research carried out by the Global Farm Metric team, Sustainable Food Trust and the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester as part of the UK government’s pilot of the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM Scheme). It was piloted on 27 farms and estates across England representing a range of farming systems and enterprises. The research revealed that farmers and land managers were in support of the broad sustainability categories to be integrated into the Global Farm Metric (GFM) and found them to be useful and easy to collect. Based on the strong support from farmers and landowners, and the feedback from the main certification schemes operating in England, the rationale for an annual self-assessment to capture the impact of the farm system as a whole was developed and has provided the evidence base for the GFM.