ABP has today announced an investment of £1.5 million in a unique sustainability programme which will support 350 of its farmer suppliers, and share wider learnings across the UK beef and sheep sectors.
The new programme, called PRISM 2030, will provide farmers with a support framework initially over 2-3 years. The aim of the programme is to help participants to improve their carbon footprint and sustainability across the entirety of the farm. The detailed programme will include assessment of carbon footprint, soil health, water use and support biodiversity creation and resource efficiency.
Support from Harper Adams University and The Andersons Centre will ensure that farmers have direct and ongoing access to, and feedback from, the very latest environmental innovations and methodologies. A sustainability grant will also be available, alongside peer-to-peer learning and expert advice throughout.
Commenting, Dean Holroyd, Group Technical and Sustainability Director for ABP, said; “British red meat production is amongst the most sustainable in the world, but we can and must do more because as an industry, we are well placed to be part of the climate solution.”
“So we want to build on this position of strength, and while PRISM will mean direct support for those in our supply base who qualify for the programme, all of the outcomes will be made available to the wider industry.
“In this way, it’s our hope that this initiative will play a part in helping beef and sheep farmers across the country become the global leaders in sustainable meat production – with lower emissions, lower costs and improved productivity.”
Sharing support on behalf of the NFU livestock board, Chair Richard Findlay said: ‘PRISM 2030 aims to support beef and sheep farmers in establishing farm based carbon and wider sustainability data, initially as a baseline before delivering wider support, including advice and equipment grants to help farmers improve thereafter.
“All of this helps evidence and reinforce with primary data the strong sustainability credentials where British livestock farmers sit within a world context but with further intent to progressively keep moving forward.
“The NFU has set the ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040, so I welcome this financial investment from ABP. Livestock producers will need initiatives and support like this to help us get there.”
The collaboration with Andersons is led by partner and Senior Research Consultant Michael Haverty, who, with his team, will focus on carbon assessments as well as other sustainability benchmarking. Professor Jude Capper leads the input from Harper Adams, and will be indicating what areas each producer could be focusing on over the duration of the project to achieve most gains.