Farming Talk – January 9
Does your new year’s resolution include doing more for the environment?
There’s so much conflicting information about how you can have the most impact.
Take beef and lamb. The way we farm here is wildly different to many countries, which means it has less impact on the environment and mostly enhances it. Beef and lamb produced in the UK needs few additional inputs. More than 90 per cent of the nutritional needs of cattle and sheep are met by grass or conserved silage. Most importantly, it only contributes about three per cent of carbon emissions in the UK.
Grazing livestock make best use of up to 60 per cent of UK agricultural land that cannot easily (or at all) be used to grow anything else for human consumption. Without it, we would be forced to import much more.
And the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world. Some products sourced on the international markets lack the same levels of transparency within the supply chain.
So by buying local you can reduce food miles, help keep the countryside we all enjoy with permanent pasture which acts as a carbon sink, and be confident of the high welfare standards in the UK.
Clive Brown is AHDB Beef and Lamb head of regional development
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