Farming Transition

To mitigate and adapt to climate breakdown, and to restore biodiversity and our natural resources, we need to work together to support our farmers to be a force for change.

Farming is a force for change

A key recommendation in Our Future in the Land is for the design and implementation of a ten year transition plan to sustainable, agroecological farming by 2030. Our farming transition programme has focused on providing the evidence that we, and others who share our mission to improve farming, can use to make the case for agroecology.

We have published three key reports: Farming Smarter: the case for agroecological enterprise, Farming for Change: mapping a route to 2030, and Farming Smarter: investing in the future. These reports make the case that the transition to agroecology is economically and agronomically plausible and FFCC’s recommendation to create an Agroecology Development Bank has been widely praised.

“There is a growing consensus that agroecology ... is the optimal route for the majority of our land. That momentum and endorsement is evidenced by great reports from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.”

Helen Browning, Chief Executive, Soil Association and FFCC Commissioner

With the support of a cross sector leadership group, we are outlining the need for a ten-year transition to sustainable agroecological farming by 2030, designed and led by farmers.

The transition plan will support farmers, government, civil society, and businesses to calibrate the steps and the resources needed to navigate and accelerate their adaption and transition – in turn helping the UK to meet it’s global obligations to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement targets. We know that agriculture and how we manage our land is critical to our chances of success.

Our goals
  • For there to be a fair and just transition in UK agriculture, with local farming systems central to delivering good jobs and a strong green economy for our rural communities
  • For a clear path to be outlined for UK farming, enabling a transition to a sustainable farming system that fairly supports farmers, delivers the nutritious food the public needs and regenerates our natural resources.
  • For farming to play a key role in supporting the UK to meet it’s obligations to the Paris Climate Agreement and UN Global Goals by 2030
What we are doing now

Together with our partners and the communities we work with, we are:

  • Convening leadership across the food and farming sectors, through our Farming Leadership Group and Agroecology Working Group.
  • Building the evidence base for agroecology by commissioning comprehensive research and modelling to support it’s adoption in the UK
  • Amplifying good practice and stories from UK farmers and growers to build tangible examples and evidence of change
  • Influencing the development of new government and regional policies in support of the sector's long-term success and adaption
  • Working with communities and practitioners to pilot new ideas, learn from what they are doing and help share good practice

As we demonstrated in the Field Guide for the Future, some farmers are already at the forefront of this transition to sustainable agriculture based on agroecology. Many others however remain worried about the future. They feel locked into a system that, at worst, could lead to insolvencies, land abandonment, and the UK importing more food and offshoring the environmental costs of or food production to other countries.

We are now working across the food and farming sectors to develop a programme of work that will support the transition to agroecological farming in the UK and the resources needed by farmers and the wider sector to transition to a sustainable system in a fair and just way.