Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

Your article “Growth potential in the natural capital of farmland” (FT Money, FT WeekendFebruary 5) looks at opportunities for British farmland but fails to acknowledge its most important purpose – producing food for the nation.

As a natural store of carbon, agricultural land clearly has a key part to play in reaching the nation’s net zero targets and the carbon market can offer opportunities for farmers and businesses to work together to offset emissions across the economy.

But this can not be at the expense of food production. We can not allow private companies to relentlessly pursue farmland in order to greenwash their emissions but in the process remove family farms from land they have farmed for generations. Without British farmers we would become more reliant on food imports, produced to environmental and animal welfare standards that would be illegal here, as well as lacking our net zero ambition.

Land is not an infinite resource. A carbon market must enable land to be shared so farmers can still produce the nation’s food, while also delivering our collective net zero ambitions.

Stuart Roberts
Deputy President
National Farmers’ Union
Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, UK

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