UK farmers slam their portrayal as 'enemies of the environment'

28th November 2019

Web farming istock 976680140

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Agriculture ,
  • sea ice loss ,
  • Sustainability


Sarah Feldman

The vast majority of UK farmers believe they are unfairly portrayed as enemies of the environment, with most claiming that they always look for sustainability improvements.

That is according to research commissioned by Hectare Agritech, which found that 98% of farmers agree that is important their farm is as environmentally friendly as possible.

A similar proportion said that they are unfairly portrayed in the media, despite 67% saying they are constantly looking to improve the sustainability of their farming practices.

It was also found that 89% of farmers believe they have a good understanding of where their greenhouse gas emissions come from and where they should try to reduce them.

Andrew Loftus, commercial director at SellMyLivestock, a subsidiary of Hectare Agritech, said that UK farming practices are unfairly equated to those witnessed overseas.

UK livestock emits 2.5 times less greenhouse gases than the global average,“ he continued. “UK farmers have recently been vilified in the press – the facts tell the real story.

Our farmers don't cut down rainforests, we plant thousands of trees; we don't destroy biodiversity, we protect and maintain it; we don't abuse water sources, we carefully manage our water resources.

“Put simply, we don't hate the environment, we cherish it and rely on it.“

This comes after government figures revealed agriculture accounted for just 10% of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Hectare Agritech said that over 35,000 schemes were put in place with farmers across Britain aimed at boosting biodiversity and enhancing the environment in 2017.

It also revealed that UK farmers are helping to produce renewable energy that helps to power an average of 10 million UK homes.

“We'll be one of the first to be affected by climate change, and we are championing environmentally friendly practices in everything we do, Loftus continued.

“If consumers want to be greener then they should buy local. UK-produced, grass-fed lamb or beef – it's one of the greenest meats in the world.“


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close