Throughout 2020 we will put the solutions to pesticide reduction in front of government. We will show them the evidence that proves why we urgently need to minimise use, along with how we can help farmers do so.
The way we produce our food has a profound impact on wildlife, the environment and our ability to feed people well.
Pesticides have one of the greatest impacts of all.
The evidence of their harm to wildlife, particularly pollinators, has been mounting for years. And increasingly research is demonstrating the impact they can have on our soils, our waterways, and our own health.
We need to radically reduce our use of pesticides and move towards farming systems that truly appreciate the connection between nature, climate and health. And farmers must be given the right support to make this change.
We need your help as we approach government with the solutions to pesticide reduction.
It highlights the fact that we don’t know the impact of spraying multiple pesticides on the food we eat. Latest testing of fruits and vegetables found over a third contained more than one pesticide, but hardly any research is done into the impact of this. The best way of protecting against the potential harm of pesticides is to significantly reduce our use of them. We will put the evidence in front of government.
In 2019, the ‘Ten Years for Agroecology’ report modelled a Europe where ecological farming – the type of farming where pesticides aren’t used – was the norm. This year we will produce a UK model, showing how farming this way can feed the growing population healthily, while reversing wildlife decline and reducing climate impacts by around 50%. A reduction in pesticides will be at the core of this agroecological farming future.
Programmes like our Innovative Farmers empowers them to investigate solutions to their most pressing problems, without the use of pesticides. You may have heard recently about farmers using sheep, rather than sprays, to reduce the impact of cabbage flea beetle! Currently less than 1% of agricultural research funding goes straight to farmers: we will call for this to change to at least 10%.
2020 is a pivotal year: where widespread recognition of the need to change comes together with a moment where this change is possible. At this time of opportunity, will you help us secure a pesticide-free farming future for the UK?