Credit: Vicki Hird

Farming is at the heart of our rural and peri-urban landscapes and communities. The way we manage land and farm is important for climate, nature, our health, communities, farm businesses, and citizens alike.

We all have a stake in the ways we produce food.

The Sustain alliance is a leading voice in pushing for an sustainable farming future in the UK.

We need to move towards farming systems that provide healthy, affordable food that is grown to high standards and which supports good livelihoods.

We see the future of farming as agroecology where our food system is sustainable, resilient, fair, decentralised, cooperative, and democratic.

Farmers and growers receive a fair price; workers receive the real living wage with best working conditions and rights; and all citizens being able to afford healthy and culturally appropriate food.

Space is made for new entrants and a pathway is there for people from a diversity of backgrounds to work and be part of the food and farming system. Knowledge and information is freely shared and open to all.

Farmers and growers are rewarded and paid for delivering multiple public goods that benefit people and planet; from carbon sequestration and abundant nature to healthy food and beautiful accessible landscapes.

Farmers and workers alike have more power and control within a food system that is decantralised and with more local routes to market, connecting communities and local food producers and suppliers together.

The farming and food system is at the heart of community wealth building across the UK and is part of the national agenda. The UK working with the international community to instil fairness, resilience and sustainability in the global food system.

Policy change

Government policies and food industry practices often drive harmful production systems that degrade nature, climate and the environment, and many farmers and workers struggle to make a decent living from farming.

Regulations are failing to protect farmers and workers from unfair trading practices that are used by big players in the supply chain, such as supermarkets.

Changes in Government policy, as well as better use of public and private investment, could do much more for the benefit of everyone.

The UK must change farm support so that it rewards agroeoclogical food production and the delivery of public goods. The Government's approach to international trade deals will also have big implications for farmers, at home and abroad, and they must be based on high standards and fairness.

What is agroecology?
The practices and principles that underpin agroecology come from indigenous farmers and communities. More recently, it has gained interest globally in response to the climate and nature emergency. The Food and Agriculture Organisation worked with countries to set out 10 key elements of agroecology.

The benefits of farm diversity
The mosaic of British farming is vital for protecting landscapes and natural resources as well as rural economies and communities. The small and medium, family farm and mixed farm – which provide specific and often unrecognised environmental and social benefits – need specific policies to survive in a more liberalised market and deliver for a more diverse domestic and local marketplace.

Agroecology and policy
UK farming policy is in the process of changing. The introduction of public money for public goods and new legislation like the Agriculture Act and Environment Act have pushed this. How can the UK Government support the transition to agroecology to deliver on environmental, social, and economic needs?

Fruit and vegetable production
Sustain supports the work of the Fruit and Vegetable alliance, seeking to increase fruit and vegetable production and consumption, as a key way to promote public health through farming policy.

Overuse of farm antibiotics
The systematic overuse of antibiotics in human and animal medicine is undermining their ability to cure life-threatening infections in people, by creating an army of dangerous bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.


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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.

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