The Soil Association has launched its ‘Grow Back Better’ Manifesto, a ten-point recover plan which it hopes will lead to more sustainable farming practices following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association said, “It feels to me as if the coronavirus pandemic is nature giving humanity one last chance to stop, take stock and to set a new course. Our Grow Back Better road map sets out the urgent tasks ahead of us all to ensure food, farming and land use becomes a major part of the solution, rather than the huge problem it is often perceived as.
The Manifesto, which warns that warns the wrong ‘green recovery’ choices from policy makers, could lock the UK into damaging directions of travel in food, farming and land-use, draws on the Soil Associations experience in ‘devising and delivering practical solutions with people from all walks of life.’
The ten priorities include: exceeding Europe’s ambition to halve pesticide use and grow organic farming to 25% farmed land by 2030; instigating a farmer-led tree planting revolution, and turning soils into carbon sinks for climate resilience. It also wants to increase soil organic matter and scale up fruit and vegetable production by investing in UK horticulture.
Helen Browning added, “We know there is an appetite for change amongst citizens, farmers and many businesses, but the wrong choices by policy makers at this moment could lock us into damaging directions of travel. It’s a make or break moment. We are clear where we need to get to; we just need the right government support to get us there.”
Photo caption: Soil Association chief executive Helen Browning
Photo source: Soil Association