Food, Land and People

Sustainability in all its facets, environmental, social and economic are top priorities for global policy makers, industries and citizens. It is a word we hear often, in many different contexts. But what does it mean, based on what criteria? When people talk about sustainability, they immediately refer to the industry's greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainability is much more than that.

Agricultural sustainability, especially in rural areas, should also be associated with economic sustainability. If a farm business isn’t sustainable it’s not profitable. It needs to be profitable if it’s going to be sustainable. There is also the cultural importance of agriculture - the language, the communities. Any rural community thrives when there’s a vibrant red meat and agricultural sector. There is a danger that if we only focus on one element we end up with unforeseen outcomes.

One of the challenges for the dairy and red meat sector is that policy makers and consumers don’t often see the good that is being done for the environment and sustainability, because they’re surrounded by media throwing out misconceptions.

The FUW's ‘Food, land and people - Sustainability for Wales’ campaign therefore focusses on various sustainability issues and highlights the positive work farmers in Wales are doing to address sustainable development goals. In the run-up to COP26, now is the time to continue highlighting the many different positive things farming does to be sustainable, produce food and look after the environment.