Pig farmers came out top in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from their farm, with 63% saying they were taking action, according to a Farming Futures survey. Farming Futures, an industry-led project which helps farmers respond to climate change—found that one in four farmers have noticed increased interest from customers in their environmental performance over the past year.
Pig producers also came out second in terms of taking action to adapt to climate change with 45% saying they were doing something. They came out slightly higher than average in terms of noticing increased interest about the environmental performance from customers (28%) and 50% were confident that achieving an 11% cut in GHG emissions from their farm was possible.
Approximately 53% of those surveyed recognise that addressing climate change offers potential business opportunities – a significant rise on last year – and the number of farmers producing their own energy has doubled. Almost half are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their land (48%), and one in three (31%) farmers are doing something to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Other key findings from the survey are:
• 42% think that investments in climate change action will pay off within 10 years.
• 74% think that producers should work more closely with processors and retailers to combat climate change.
• 82% think that farmers should work together and share ideas more to combat climate change, which could include setting up buying/sharing cooperatives, or ‘knowledge’ cooperatives.
• 88% said that rising input prices were making them more efficient with their resources, an increase on last year.
• Farmers are increasingly interested in measuring their farm’s carbon footprint – 36% compared to 31% last year.
Madeleine Lewis, Farming Futures Strategic Advisor says: “Like every sector of the economy, farming has its role to play in the shift to a low carbon economy, but the good news is that a lot of the things farmers can do are good for their bottom line too. And it’s not all about big investments – as we can see from the survey results, almost half of farmers are improving the energy efficiency on their farm – these smaller actions are just as important.”