Over a third of UK farmers are embracing innovation to tackle climate change head-on, according to a new survey, which also found 85 per cent of farmers feel responsible for taking action.
The survey, carried out by McDonald’s and Map of Ag, revealed that 39 per cent of farmers are taking steps such as using renewable energies – for example installing solar panels and wind turbines – as well as upgrading to more efficient machinery and modernising farming practices.
Looking ahead to the future, 39 per cent of farmers plan to put carbon-reduction measures in place over the next year, while another 20 per cent said they would do so in the next two years.
Nearly a third of those who took part in the survey (31 per cent) saw environmental protection as the most important factor in making sure UK farming remains competitive globally. But despite the challenges ahead, 73 per cent agreed there are opportunities for the industry to thrive in future.
Commenting on the results, Map of Ag’s head of market research, Jim Williams said: “UK farmers are clearly ready to tackle climate change and it’s great to see that many have already put measures in place to address the issue.
“Looking to the future, we expect environmental issues to become increasingly important to the industry, with such a large number of farmers telling us environmental protection is hugely important to the global competitiveness of UK farming.”
Nina Prichard, head of sustainable and ethical sourcing McDonald’s UK & Ireland described the survey findings as “encouraging”.
“Our farming industry is vital, not just to our business but to the UK as a whole,” she added. “That’s why we’ve invested £35 billion with UK-based suppliers over the last 45 years and we’ll continue to invest in and support the 23,000 British and Irish farmers that help us make the food that we’re famous for.
“We want to use our scale for good to help the farmers who supply us to continue to tackle climate change.”