Support for Farm Transitions and Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Support for Farm Transitions and Sustainable Agricultural Practices

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Surge are calling on the Government to provide support to farmers that enables them to transition away from animal agriculture and to the production of arable crops, pulses and produce for human consumption, or reforest and rewild their lands for carbon sequestration. As the UK prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 next year, we must lead by example, recognising animal agriculture is a leading greenhouse gas emitter, and supporting those farmers who wish to shift their production to less environmentally harmful practices. Given the rapid growth of the plant-based alternatives market in recent years, this is an exciting opportunity for UK farmers to enter this burgeoning new market.

We are very aware of the fact that the dairy industry is struggling, right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also already before this crisis. We certainly also know that we need farmers and farming. But farmers often lack the funds, resources and skills required to shift to a new type of production and cannot make this change without government support.

We know that the forthcoming UK Environmental Land Management system is meant to ensure that farmers are paid for delivering environmental services (tree planting, flood mitigation, habitat creation, etc.) and improved animal welfare. These environmental services should also explicitly imply supporting diversification and farm shifts.

We want to show that we need to work with the farmers and not against them to help them shift. Thus, our effort to support farm transitions in the UK does not end with this petition. We have created an information pack for farmers, which we are asking them to download on our website. The document outlines how farmers can transition to more sustainable, stock-free agriculture via companies and organisations that can offer guidance, training and financial support. 

Nonetheless, we believe that the best way to help animal farmers transition to plant-based agriculture is by the government helping cover the cost of the transitions, not only of environmental services. Since the government is already using tax money to subsidise the farming industry, it is this money - our money - the government should redirect to support farm transitions. We demand a reform of how our money is spent to help farmers either transition to plant-based agriculture, to diversify their production to produce more crops for human consumption or to rewild and reforest their lands instead.

Please visit the campaign website to read the letter to the UK Government in full and to download the information pack for farmers. Please share widely. 

We thank you very much for your support! 

Please note, any donations given to change.org to "chip in to boost the petition", are not received by Surge. However, the purpose of the boost is to allow the petition to be seen by more people.