Lay of the Land

23rd September 2019

This report from our Northern Ireland inquiry outlines the need for a transformation in the food and farming system to respond to the climate emergency; restore biodiversity; improve health and wellbeing; and develop Northern Ireland's distinctive pattern of farming to support and revitalise rural communities.

Citizens were put at the heart of the inquiry from the outset. Views from a wide variety of backgrounds were heard: farmers, shoppers, urban and rural community groups, environmentalists, growers, chefs, traders, young and old.

What emerged was a graphic picture of what is wrong with the system, but also the positive steps forward to repair, reconnect and create a better future.

We offer a set of outcomes as a framework for what we consider to be the main elements of the needed transition to a sustainable future. These are not intended to be prescriptive but rather are designed to stimulate debate and, together, provide some guidance to towards an agreed future.

Note: this report was originally published on the RSA website (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), which hosted the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission between November 2017-April 2020.