Just over four out of five British adults want UK farmers to preserve the rural heritage and wildlife for future generations, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Launching a long term policy document, Vision for the future of farming, CPRE also commissioned an independent poll of the British public.
“It’s great to see that people clearly want the environmentally sustainable future for farming set out in our vision,” declares Ian Woodhurst, CPRE senior farming campaigner. “There are huge challenges,” he warns, “including growing populations, increasing demand for land and natural resources, and pressures due to climate change. But we must find ways to cope with these challenges if we are to secure a living, thriving rural landscape.”
The CPRE policy document is urging fairer pricing for farmers that take into account the additional resources they are investing in their work. For instance, farmers who adopt extra environmental measures in managing their holdings; extensive outdoor free-range pig and poultry producers; pasture-based dairy farms should all be able to recover the additional production costs in their earnings, the CPRE is arguing.
“We need to be ambitious if we are to ensure we have both a vibrant farming sector and a beautiful countryside alive with wildlife. The Government, farmers, the food industry and environmental organisations will need to work together over the coming years to ensure that the public’s aspirations are realised,” Woodhurst advises.