The Soil Association wrote to the reappointed Defra Minister of State, Liz Truss, last month calling on her to establish a long-term plan to protect and improve UK soils.
The organisation also called on her to set a target to increase soil organic matter by 20% over the next 20 years. In her letter, Soil Association Chief Executive Helen Browning said, “As you will know, soils are vital to maintaining and lifting our productive capacity, as a habitat for 25% of all known species and in improving our resilience to climate change. Improving soil health requires a vision and understanding beyond the here and now, and so the start of a new term of office for the Government coinciding with the FAO’s International Year of Soils suggests that there has never been a better opportunity to establish a long term plan to improve our soils.”
As part of its Year of Soils the UN-backed Save Our Soils initiative has launched an ‘I Like Organic’ campaign on Facebook. According to the group, for every ‘like’ that the page receives, €5 from the Save Our Soils initiative will be released, enough to save 500m² of fertile soil.
Campaign founder Volkert Engelsman said: “With every ‘like’, financial support can be provided to help educate and support growers in developing sustainable farming practices and in saving soil fertility through the use of organic techniques.”