Driving Forward Low-Carbon Farming

A new farmer-led initiative is aiming to drive low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming practices in Scotland.

Under reforms to the Farming For a Better Climate (FFBC) programme, managed by SAC Consulting, a new group will be established to trial and develop ideas on farms which could provide practical, innovative solutions to help climate change mitigation.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon with farmer Hugh Black, left, and Zach Reilly from SAC Consulting’s Forfar office

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon with farmer Hugh Black, left, and Zach Reilly from SAC Consulting’s Forfar office

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon made the announcement while visiting Hugh Black’s farm in Forfar - one of the farmers participating in the group.

Ms Gougeon said:
“As we face a climate emergency, it is more vital than ever that farmers and crofters move towards a low-carbon, environmentally sustainable future by adapting to the changing climate and securing their business viability for generations to come.

“So while Farming For a Better Climate has been a success, it is now time to reform and encourage farmers to act collaboratively to ensure the future success of the industry. In line with the recommendations of our Agricultural Champions, I am confirming that FFBC will be refocused on soil regenerative agriculture, including soil, fertiliser, manure management, carbon sequestration and more.

“As no two farms are the same, I am moving the system away from focussing on the individual to one of collective collaboration, maximising the opportunity for testing innovative solutions in a variety of situations. This is a really exciting initiative, which I look forward to seeing develop and prosper in the months ahead.”

Rebecca Audsley from SAC Consulting, who heads up the FFBC programme, said:
“A healthy and resilient soil can bring so many other benefits to the farm business, not just in terms of yields but can also help us to be more efficient with inputs, help farm biodiversity and lock carbon on to the farm. This is a great opportunity to work together as a group, share experience and test out different approaches to see what gives the best results”

Mr Black said:
"The group that have come together for this project very interestingly have different enterprises and crops but we all share the same challenges and recognise the need to gather more learning around soils and how best to manage them. I see it as a learning journey of a group of mixed ages, experience and regions but led with an open mind set and eagerness to excel. I expect to have open discussions around what we do and intend to grow our knowledge together and help develop the understanding for all in Scottish agriculture.”

Farming for a Better Climate was established in 2009 with a remit to demonstrate and disseminate information on practical low carbon farming practices based on interacting with individual farmers.

In February, four young farmers and crofters were appointed to champion a cultural and behavioural shift towards low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming in Scotland.


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