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Michael Gove says UK is facing ‘eradication of soil fertility’

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, last week launched the Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA) warning that “we have incentivised and encouraged a type of farming in this country which has damaged soil.”

Gove argued that farmers now need to be incentivised to tackle soil fertility and the decline in biodiversity.

“We may be 30, 50, 60 harvests away from the fundamental eradication of [soil] fertility in parts of our country. The point that was made forcibly to me, was that countries can withstand amazing things, horrific things. Countries can withstand wars and conflicts. They can withstand even leaving the European Union. But what no country can withstand is the loss of its soil and its fertility and therefore there is an emergency.”

The Soil Association, who are members of Sustain, welcome the Government’s commitment to fund soil health monitoring, “in the UK, we lose an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of topsoil each year, costing around £45 million per year, of which £9 million is in lost production and reduced yields.”

The Sustainable Soils Alliance describe themselves as “a partnership of businesses, campaigning organisations, the applied scientific community, academia, governmental and non-governmental organisations working together to reverse the current crisis in soil health.”


30/10/2017
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Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.