Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, plans to expand trials of low-carbon fertiliser products in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability in agriculture. The trials, which initially covered 1,300 hectares, will be extended to encompass 13,000 hectares by 2024, with preliminary results showing that low-carbon fertilisers are as effective as conventional ones and can reduce emissions. Tesco CEO, Ken Murphy, believes these fertilisers can enhance soil health and water quality while providing cost certainty for farmers, urging political parties to uphold net-zero pledges to boost business confidence and investment in sustainable agriculture. Tesco also intends to include livestock farmers in the trials, aligning with its environmental goals and setting an example for other companies to prioritize sustainability.
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Two separate incidents involving the tragic deaths of livestock have sparked investigations in Anglesey and Lancashire, raising concerns about the welfare of farm animals and the need to address the issue of dog attacks. The emotional, financial, and breeding repercussions for farmers are highlighted, and the investigations by the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team and Lancashire Police are crucial in bringing the responsible parties to justice.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has launched an online series titled ‘A closer look at…’ to help farmers communicate the role of the UK’s livestock sectors to the public, highlighting their contributions to the environment and animal welfare. The series aims to address misconceptions and provide accurate facts to engage the public in discussions about British agriculture.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has launched a new initiative titled “A Closer Look at…” aimed at dispelling misconceptions and providing accurate information about livestock, dairy, and poultry production, promoting informed discussions and a better understanding of the industry’s practices among the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
NFU Scotland has called on its members to provide evidence for an ongoing review of the Seasonal Worker visa scheme, which currently employs around 6,000 workers annually in Scotland’s soft fruit and vegetable sectors. The union aims to highlight the need for extended visa durations and easier return for workers to ensure a stable workforce and maintain the availability of home-grown produce. Members are urged to contribute their insights before the call for evidence ends on 19 September.
Arla, a European dairy co-operative, has reported a decline in profits for the first half of 2023, which can be attributed to various factors including inflation, adverse exchange rates, and falling dairy commodity prices. Despite this, the company remains committed to supporting its farmer owners and has implemented a sustainability incentive model. Arla has also witnessed overall revenue growth, particularly in its UK operations. The company expects challenges to persist but remains cautiously optimistic about the future.
The UK government has announced another delay in the implementation of post-Brexit border controls on food and fresh produce imports from the EU, raising concerns about inflation and potential price increases. Industry bodies, farmers, and exporters have criticized the delay, arguing that it disadvantages domestic farmers and leaves the country vulnerable to disease introduction. The revised timetable aims to strike a balance between facilitating trade and ensuring the safety and security of imported goods, but concerns remain about the potential impact on domestic farmers and the risk of disease introduction.
Arable farmers in England and Wales are being encouraged to participate in the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) harvest survey, which aims to collect comprehensive data on yields across the country to assess input costs, market volatility, and the impact of difficult weather conditions on the harvest. The survey will remain open until October 1, 2023.
The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has created a free flyer to educate farmers and growers about new regulations requiring photo identification when purchasing ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilisers starting from 1st October. The AIC aims to ensure that farmers are well-informed and prepared for the upcoming changes by working with farming unions.
The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has released a guidance flyer to inform farmers about new rules on the purchase and use of fertilizers, including the requirement for photo identification when buying ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilizers. The AIC has expressed concerns that failure to provide photo ID may result in a de facto ban on AN fertilizer sales. The AIC is collaborating with farming unions to ensure farmers are aware of the requirements and prepared for compliance. The Home Office has clarified that photo ID can be submitted via email and needs to be fulfilled once every 18 months. For more information, farmers can contact the Home Office’s chemical reporting team.