14 June 2011
Farming Futures, the award-winning communications initiative on climate change, is joining forces with the Centre for Excellence in UK Farming (CEUKF).
Following this year’s Foresight report on ‘The future of food and farming’, it is now widely recognised that a broad process of change is needed to support a thriving and sustainable UK farming and food supply sector, whilst managing the impact of climate change and threats to our natural resources.
Farming Futures will continue communicating climate change and related matters to farmers and land managers. With the support of DEFRA and the key industry partners who guided the establishment of the project, it will now move into a new phase, coordinated and resourced by the CEUKF, who will continue to work closely with the established partnership. A progressive programme of work will build on the excellent Farming Futures record of innovative communication.
The CEUKF-Farming Futures partnership will broaden the focus on climate change to embrace other aspects of sustainability, and increase emphasis on knowledge exchange directly with farmers. The CEUKF is able to draw upon research and development within its founder institutes to add to the experience and knowledge available through the Farming Futures partners.
The CEUKF was formed in 2010 by Aberystwyth University and NIAB TAG and Waitrose and coordinates a growing network of expertise and partners. As well as providing an independent voice on Sustainable Efficient Production, it has begun practical work to relate farm-level management and performance to sustainability criteria, in order to help develop practical tools for guiding best practice.
The move was welcomed by CEUKF members Stuart Knight of NIAB TAG, in Cambridge, and Professor Nigel Scollan of IBERS, in Aberystwyth.
Stuart Knight said, “This is a very positive and welcome development at a crucial time. Report after report has shown that we need to start now in responding to the challenges of climate change, threatened resources and ensuring security of food supply.
“The CEUKF-Farming Futures partnership will help maintain a thriving UK farming industry on two fronts. Firstly by getting the messages out there to farmers about how to deal with climate change, and secondly by helping turn the UK’s excellence in agricultural research into practical application to support sustainable and efficient farming and food production.”
Madeleine Lewis of Forum for the Future, the organisation that has managed the project for the past five years, said, “Science alone is not enough to create the change we need to shift to a more sustainable society – we have to be smart about what inspires and motivates people to do things differently. At Farming Futures we’ve strived to be solutions focused and aspirational, and we’re confident that CEUKF will retain this spirit. We look forward to supporting them as they take the project forward.”
For further information contact:
Tamsin Knight, NIAB
T: 01223 342329