UK farmers slam their portrayal as ‘enemies of the environment’

The vast majority of UK farmers believe they are unfairly portrayed as enemies of the environment, with most claiming that they always look for sustainability improvements.

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That is according to research commissioned by Hectare Agritech, which found that 98% of farmers agree that is important their farm is as environmentally friendly as possible.

A similar proportion said that they are unfairly portrayed in the media, despite 67% saying they are constantly looking to improve the sustainability of their farming practices.

It was also found that 89% of farmers believe they have a good understanding of where their greenhouse gas emissions come from and where they should try to reduce them.

Andrew Loftus, commercial director at SellMyLivestock, a subsidiary of Hectare Agritech, said that UK farming practices are unfairly equated to those witnessed overseas.

"UK livestock emits 2.5 times less greenhouse gases than the global average,” he continued. “UK farmers have recently been vilified in the press – the facts tell the real story.

"Our farmers don’t cut down rainforests, we plant thousands of trees; we don’t destroy biodiversity, we protect and maintain it; we don’t abuse water sources, we carefully manage our water resources.

“Put simply, we don't hate the environment, we cherish it and rely on it.”

This comes after government figures revealed agriculture accounted for just 10% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Hectare Agritech said that over 35,000 schemes were put in place with farmers across Britain aimed at boosting biodiversity and enhancing the environment in 2017.

It also revealed that UK farmers are helping to produce renewable energy that helps to power an average of 10 million UK homes.

“We’ll be one of the first to be affected by climate change, and we are championing environmentally friendly practices in everything we do," Loftus continued.

“If consumers want to be greener then they should buy local. UK-produced, grass-fed lamb or beef – it’s one of the greenest meats in the world.”

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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