RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission


Final report now available

The RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission report is now available. This work calls for a bold and urgent transition to a sustainable food system by 2030. Getting it right is essential for averting climate breakdown, restoring nature, and securing human health and wellbeing.

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Our Future in the Land

There are two key documents published by the Commission: ‘Our Future in the Land’ and ‘Field Guide for the Future’. The first details why a rapid transition to sustainable farming is needed, and the second describes how we might get there through case studies across the UK.

In ‘Our Future in the Land’, the case is made for a food and farming system that is inclusive, fair, and delivers positive environmental, social, and health outcomes. It presents both challenges and opportunities; the cost of flooding in the UK is nearly £2bn annually, meaning opportunities for natural flood management are encouraged. Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £12bn, further evidence of the need to increase supply in fruit, vegetables, nuts and pulses.

Healthy food is everybody’s business, and this report is full of recommendations for bold interventions and ideas. Could citizens assemblies on healthy and sustainable diets overcome divisive issues in food pricing? Could carbon pricing decrease nitrate fertiliser use, and offer incentives to sequester carbon? And what could happen with radical restrictions on marketing foods high in sugar, salt, trans-fats, and processing?

Field Guide for the Future

‘Field Guide for the Future’ covers a range of farming tools and techniques, and is a practical companion to ‘Our Future in the Land’. Topics include how to assess soil quality, vertical farming, natural flood management, and stewardship.

This publication is a great example of sharing learning between people working in the countryside. From growing food in Aberdeen, improving biodiversity in the Yorkshire Dales, or agroforestry in Devon, there are plenty of ideas for inspiration.

Farming can be a lonely job, but it doesn’t have to be. Farmers want reliable, independent and evidence-based advice. Learning with your peers – who are facing the same challenges – can be a powerful catalyst for change.