FDBusiness.com

Farming Practices Must Change to Maintain UK Food Production in More Extreme Climate

 Breaking News
  • 2 Sisters Food Group Sells Christmas Puddings Business to Valeo Foods 2 Sisters Food Group is selling its Matthew Walker Christmas puddings business to Valeo Foods Group, the fast-growing international ambient foods producer, for £67 million. The Matthew Walker business, based...
  • Carlsberg Gives Latest Green Fibre Bottle Update Carlsberg Group has given an update on its journey to create the world’s first ‘paper’ beer bottle made from sustainably-sourced wood fibres that is both 100% bio-based and fully recyclable....
  • Loma Launches New RUN-WET IQ4 Metal Detector Loma Systems, a leading manufacturer of high performance metal detectors, checkweighers and x-ray inspection systems for the global food and pharmaceutical industries, has introduced new RUN-WET® specification to its range...
  • Campari Group Expands Brands Portfolio Campari Group, the Italian and international drinks business, has acquired a controlling interest in Mexican super premium brands Ancho Reyes spicy liqueur and Montelobos mezcal. In 2018 the net sales...
  • Winners of the 2019 Global Bottled Water Awards The winners of the 2019 Global Bottled Water Awards were announced at an awards ceremony held at the iconic Burj Al Arab, during the 16th Global Bottled Water Congress in...

Farming Practices Must Change to Maintain UK Food Production in More Extreme Climate

Farming Practices Must Change to Maintain UK Food Production in More Extreme Climate
July 25
11:27 2013

Climate change presents a risk to the supply of important goods and services from the land, says a new report published by the Committee on Climage Change, the UK Government’s advisers on climate change adaptation. Without action this could undermine the ability to meet increased food demand over the next decades.

The report reviews key ecosystem services provided by the land, specifically, supplying food and timber, providing habitats for wildlife, storing carbon in the soil and coping with sea level rise on the coast, it finds that:

* There could be a signficant shortfall between water demand and supply for farming by the 2020s. Crop production is already concentrated in water stressed areas. In a dry year the shortfall could be nearly half the water that agriculture currently consumes. In addition, current farming practices may be depleting some of the country’s richest soils.

* Three-quarters of coastal habitats that provide important natural flood protection are at risk. The combination of sea level rise and man-made flood defences traps coastal habitats. This will escalate flood defence costs, which are already expected to rise by 60% to £200 million by 2030.

* The majority of upland peat inEnglandis currently in a degraded condition due to draining, burning and overgrazing. This is putting billions of pounds worth of carbon at risk from release into the atmosphere from climate change. Such decline will also reduce the ability of peatlands to regulate and filter water flows.

* Three-quarters of the remaining natural wildlife habitat in England is small and fragmented, making it more vulnerable to climate change. The proportion of our most important wildlife sites in good condition has fallen from 42% to 37% over the last decade. 60% of native species are experiencing long-term decline in populations.

Lord John Krebs, Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, says: “Our analysis shows we are putting future agricultural production at risk, jeopordising coastal habitats that provide vital flood defences, squeezing wildlife habitats, and threatening billions of pounds worth of carbon stored in our peatlands. There is an important opportunity for the UK as a food producer in a world subject to climate change. However this is at risk under current farming practices. The Government should act now to develop and implement policies to ensure that we make the right land use choices to ensure we are resilient to climate change.”

The report finds there has been very limited progress addressing risks from climate change and highlights where further action is needed:

* The Government needs to press on with water abstraction reform, such that there is a price for water that reflects its scarcity. In addition, reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy should promote water efficiency measures on farms.

* The rate of coastal realignment needs to increase five-fold from 6 km of coastline each year to 30 km each year in order to reach local authority goal to realign 10% of coast by 2030 and 15% by 2060. For some stretches, one-third of the coastline will need to be realigned. This requires joined-up action from local authorities and the Environment Agency. There also needs to be a clear process for compensation arrangements for land owners.

* The area of degraded peatlands undergoing restoration needs to triple. Two-thirds of upland peatlands have no clear restoration plan despite clear economic case in many locations. The Government needs to strengthen incentives to ensure the value of the carbon and water regulation services in land use decisions.

* There has been no increase in proportion of protected wildlife habitat sites in good condition in last ten years, despite 8,000 sq km of habitats under restoration and the majority of protected sites having management plans in place. Current regulations must be better enforced and effective market mechanisms developed to place an economic value on nature.


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/fdbusiness/public_html/wp-content/themes/legatus-theme/includes/single/post-tags.php on line 5
Share

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

[eventlist]

Jobs: Logistics

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements