The work is in line with the Scottish Climate Change Plan proposals and the UK Committee on Climate Change’s progress report, which make significant demands on the farming sector to reduce its climate change impact. Research conducted by both organisations has found that livestock farming produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions and places additional strains on land and water. The project anticipates increased pressure on the livestock sector to demonstrate its sustainability credentials in future, in light of the focus on public goods in the Agriculture Bill, which is due to be published in March 2019. It also seeks to highlight the positives of the UK’s predominately grass-fed system.
The project, which will be led by ADAS’ Sustainable Food and Farming business, will include analysis of existing sustainability frameworks globally and assessment of their relevance to British livestock production. It will also identify the key components of these frameworks, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and animal welfare, and the metrics associated with them to measure the current sustainability of beef and lamb production in the UK. It will also track progress and compare with global competitors, bringing together the sustainable food and farming team’s expertise in UK farming practices, understanding of global supply chains, and the impact of climate change.
The project has been well covered in farming press, with details appearing in Food Management Today, The Scottish Farmer and The Cattle Site. The project’s outcomes will include recommendations on how a sustainability framework might better operate in Britain, as a first step towards putting beef and lamb supply chains in a position to actively promote their environmental credentials.
ADAS is delighted to be working on the project and plans to deliver its report and recommendations in the New Year.
For more information on ADAS, please visit the website .