New guide launched to help farmers tackle climate change

McDonald’s UK and The Prince’s Countryside Fund have launched a new guide designed to help farmers and suppliers understand and talk about climate change. The guide is in response to new research which shows that 67% of farmers think there is too much jargon used in conversations around the environment.

A-Zero: A farmer’s guide to breaking free from environmental jargon was launched by HRH The Prince of Wales, Founder and Patron of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, in addition to some of the farmers who have helped to inform the guide, at The Great Yorkshire Show. By working with farmers to translate 50 sustainability terms into language which is more accessible, the guide tackles the current use of ‘obscure’ environmental language that is ‘unhelpful’ for the agricultural industry.

New research by The Prince’s Countryside Fund found that eight in ten UK farmers (81%) want to do more to tackle the climate challenge. However, a lack of understanding of critical sustainability terms is preventing many from taking action. The research indicated that three in four farmers (77%) say they have little or no understanding of the term ‘Natural capital’, while 61% say the same about ‘Net zero’, and 64% for ‘Zero carbon’. As well as de-mystifying these terms, the guide also offers practical examples as to what these terms mean on farm. This translation can support farmers in identifying areas they may need to address on their own farms, to help them play their part in the climate challenge.

HRH the Prince of Wales speaking at The Great Yorkshire Show

HRH the Prince of Wales speaking at The Great Yorkshire Show

Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK & Ireland spoke about their involvement in the project: “We are at a moment when we all need to accelerate our ambition and work even harder to look after each other and our planet. At McDonald’s, our partnership with the 23,000 British and Irish farmers who produce the quality ingredients for our menu is essential in creating real change. It’s why I’m so passionate about our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund and I hope this guide makes conversations about sustainability across the farming community more open and accessible. We’re committed to continuing to play our part in providing the farming community with the support, knowledge and confidence to address future challenges head-on.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund commented: “Earlier this year our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, called for more accessible language to be used to enable everyone, including the agricultural industry, to better understand the nature of the climate crisis.  For the PCF, this guide is an important next step, particularly for our smaller family farms, to encourage engagement with important sustainability and environmental schemes and innovation which we believe will have a real positive impact in producing food while also enhancing Nature. We are immensely grateful to McDonald’s UK for partnering with us on this project, and for their continuing support of the PCF’s wider work in enabling family farms to thrive.”

McDonald’s and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are working together as part of a three-year partnership to support the future of the farming industry. This includes the ‘Ready for Change’ workshops, a series of events to help support the economic resilience of farming families. The workshops support livestock farmers in making informed decisions about change management on family farms, as well as helping on environment-related challenges. The charity’s research also found that 72% of farmers do not currently measure their environmental impact on their farm, making these workshops more relevant than ever.

The A-Zero guide will be available to view and download online, in addition to being printed on paper made from recycled coffee cups, including those from McDonald’s, and distributed to farmers via The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Farm Resilience Programme.

Please visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/environment for more details.

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