Reforming our farming system is of critical importance if we are to rise to the challenge of the nature and climate crises.

But farming in the UK is facing not one but several transitions. These include:

  • the advent of new agri-environment schemes
  • new trading arrangements
  • an increasing role for technology in farming
  • shifting demographics of the farming workforce
  • the impacts of a changing climate
  • a potentially protracted recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

These transitions present challenges and opportunities, both to overcome the environmental crises we face and to do so in a way that is economically and socially fair and contributes to solving many of our other shared problems. Given the challenges farmers face and the urgency with which we need them to deliver climate solutions, support the return of wildlife recovery, and contribute to more resilient landscapes and communities, now is the time to reaffirm the place of farming in national life.

This report proposes a renewed social contract for farming, which would set out the roles and responsibilities for farmers, the state, and the public in the shift towards a net-zero and nature-positive economy. We propose this comes in the form of six priority areas of action.