August 10, 2022

Regenerative change could double vegetable production

A UK-wide adoption of regenerative farming practices would produce double the current amount of vegetables and pulses, and result in a 75% drop in pork and chicken production.

This is according to the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) whose new reportFeeding Britain from the Ground Up, models the impact of a full shift to sustainable and regenerative farming practices across the UK on UK diets.

He concluded that vegetable production would double, with greater diversity of crops grown much more widely across the country, often in mixed farming systems.

Production of UK grown pulses would also double due to their importance in sustainable crop rotations and for human and animal nutrition.

However, cereal production would decrease by half due to a reduction in the area of ​​cereal land and the elimination of synthetic inputs. This, in turn, would mean a significant reduction in the amount fed to livestock, resulting in a drop in chicken and pork production of 75% and a drop in egg production of around 50%.

SFT said around the same amount of beef and lamb would be produced due to the importance of livestock grazing in sustainable farming systems, while milk production would drop by around 25% due to the shift. pasture-based systems. The model does not, however, include climate impacts – a measure that results in a significant reduction in red meat consumption in other modeling exercises.

According to the SFT scenario, there would be a general shift towards mixed farming and more land for trees and nature.

“With the current cost of living crisis and increasing hunger and food shortages around the world, amplified by the war in Ukraine, we are faced with a choice as to how to ensure national food security. while addressing the pressing issues of climate change, nature loss and human health,” said Patrick Holden, CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust. “We can either double down on industrial agriculture to produce foods that are bad for our health, the environment and food security – or we can turn this crisis into an opportunity to accelerate more sustainable food and agriculture and ultimately ensure that everyone has access to healthy food and sustainable.