We need a shift from intensive, very impactful forms of livestock production that rely on high amounts of inputs to farming in tune with the land, delivering benefits for nature and favouring more natural diets from local sources, upscaling and replicating best farming practice.
This implies moving away from a business model based around high productivity towards one based around quality, with fewer inputs and animals. In practice, this entails a continued mainstreaming of schemes with ‘better’ production standards, such as Pasture for Life or Organic, leading to an increase in the supply of better meat and dairy.
Progress can be made by:
- Implementing management to make the farming system more nature friendly.
- Reduce stocking levels to suit the local conditions and focus on quality and profit margins, not yield.
- Consider joining a certification scheme, such as Organic and Pasture for Life.
- Support research to build the evidence around the health and environmental benefits of better farming systems, including on-farm measurement and evaluation of impacts on soil, air and water.
- Support exchange of best practice between farmers. Offer expertise.
- Support and invest in direct models of procurement, including marketing directly to local customers, establishing links with communities, or joining a cooperative.