Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

"A powerful call to action on rivers"

FFCC Chief Executive Sue Pritchard responds to the Environmental Audit Committee's new report, Water Quality in Rivers

By Jane Campbell

13th January 2022

Today, the Environmental Audit Committee published its fourth report of the 2021-22 session, Water Quality in Rivers. Chief Executive of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Sue Pritchard, welcomes this report, commenting:

"FFCC This report is a powerful call to action for [English] government. The report highlights how vital it is that farmers are both supported – and appropriately regulated – to protect nature, and transition to farming practices that are beneficial rather than harmful. It provides clear warning that the government’s plan to support farmers (ELMS payments which will encourage good practice) will be ineffective if the legislation to stop polluting practices is not enforced and progressively raised. The environmental agencies, and local groups carrying out on the spot ‘citizen science’, must have the resources they need, to monitor pollution, research issues and enforce regulations.

Many farmers are already making a transition to agroecology – removing reliance on synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and adopting practices which protect waterways. Rewarding those who are making these changes, and providing others with strong incentives – including applying the principle of ‘polluter pays’ – will ensure all farmers can be a force for change."

Find out more about the science and practice behind agroecology and its regenerative practices in our agroecology briefing hub.