http://www.soilassociation.org/innovativefarming/futureproofingscotlandsfarming/Background
Innovative farming from the Soil Association

Innovative farming

Over the next 50 years, food and farming face the stark challenge of providing better nutrition for more people in spite of rapid environmental change, while cutting our diet’s impact on natural resources, ecosystems and the climate. This calls for changes in our eating habits, reductions in food waste and improvements in food production. We want to make sure organic and other agroecological approaches are at the heart of efforts to achieve this.

Our approach

Our approach to this challenge is to make practical progress through on-farm research and knowledge exchange, sharing know-how about farming ecologically, and working with producers and scientists to continually improve productivity, quality, environmental performance and animal welfare. We are also piloting new ways of ensuring farmers have a real say in the research that is done in their name, with producers shaping the priorities for our research fund and sharpening their own experimental skills through our ‘field labs’. Find out more about our work:

Field of hay

Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme

This programme involves farmers across the country in developing innovative techniques and best practice, aimed at improving productivity, quality and environmental performance in organic and low-input agriculture. At the heart of the programme are field labs - where farmers and growers test new approaches, share existing best practice and sharpen their problem-solving skills.
Low carbon farming logo

Low carbon farming

In this project we are working with farmers and growers to provide expert advice and technical guidance on carbon footprinting and low carbon farming practices as well as energy production and efficient resource use. The project supports and guides farmers in tackling the challenging task of reducing carbon emissions and improving the sustainability of farm businesses.
Piglets

AssureWel

To ensure we are improving farm animal welfare we need to be able to measure it. The AssureWel project aims to develop a system of welfare outcome assessment for the major farm animal species, so welfare can be measured and provide a basis for improvements to be made. These assessments will be developed for use by both assurance schemes and producers.
Feeding the future - report cover

Policy research

We are researching food and farming issues to influence Government and policy makers. Our policy research includes whether organic farming can feed the world, the use of manufactured nitrogen on farms and sustainable animal feed.
 
Highland cow

Future farming in Scotland

We have two programmes running in Scotland: Future Proofing Scotland's Farming aims to prepare agricultural businesses for the impacts, opportunities and risks that both climate and economic change bring. Scotland's Farming Innovation Network aims to inform and inspire farmers and growers to implement best management practices for sustainable and profitable agriculture based on organic, low-input and low carbon principles.
Solar panels on a barn

Resource efficiency

We provide farmers with resources on how to reduce energy, water and minimise farm wastes - even whether energy could be produced on farm to increase self sufficiency or contribute to the national energy supply.
image "We have a business to run but we also believe that we have a duty of care for our community, our animals and our environment."