NatWest, WWF Partner Toward Sustainable UK Food and Agriculture

by | Jun 28, 2023


(Credit: WWF)

Natwest and WWF have unveiled a strategic partnership for supporting United Kingdom farmers financially in transitioning towards circular, regenerative systems in the food and agriculture sector.

As a part of this unique partnership, NatWest will provide nearly $8.8 billion to U.K. agriculture to support its efforts toward tackling nature and climate challenges. WWF’s role lies in helping farmers implement nature-friendly practices, working toward the organization’s goal of a net-zero world and a restored relationship between food production and consumers.

The agricultural sector accounts for 11% of U.K. carbon emissions, and without immediate funding and guidance toward both economic and environmental resiliency, emissions are predicted to worsen. The vast majority of U.K. farmers have indicated an interest in transitioning to sustainable growth to both avoid further emissions and lower current levels, provided they receive adequate assistance.

“Farmers are eager to embrace a new world of lower emissions and nature restoration, not least because it is in the long-term interests of their sector,” said Tanya Steele CEO of WWF. “But they need support and certainty to make it a reality. WWF and NatWest understand that productivity and sustainability can go hand in hand and that more and more customers and consumers expect it.”

Partnership Follows WWF ‘Land of Plenty’ Vision, Provides Solutions to Government Proposals

Although the U.K. has set ambitious and necessary climate goals, the distinct role of food and agriculture has yet to be outlined by policy. Part of this partnership will attend to governmental reform of agriculture payments. The U.K. government recently announced a shift from BPS to delinked payments starting in 2024.

Further, the WWF’s Land of Plenty vision outlines specific steps toward a nature-positive pathway for agriculture and land use sectors. They guide this plan with the overarching goal of using land for nature’s benefit as a part of climate change mitigation efforts, recognizing the connection between sustainability goals and ecosystem depletion.  The organization provides governments around the U.K. with 10 key areas for action towards reaching net zero by 2030, ranging from addressing nitrogen waste to shifts in livestock diet.

NatWest’s funding and combined vision with WWF provides the necessary investment in rejoining nature’s critical role in food and agriculture in service of a suffering U.K. agriculture sector.

“The U.K. agriculture sector is at a turning point – facing higher costs, declining domestic production, and supply chain issues, whilst also trying to reduce their climate emissions,” said Alison Rose, DBE of NatWest. “The industry needs collective action for a sustainable and secure future. So we’re delighted to be partnering with WWF to mobilize public and private investment into climate and nature-friendly farming, ensuring that our farmers are properly supported throughout.

Editor’s note: Don’t miss the virtual Environment+Energy Leader Solutions Summit ’23 on July 18-19. Learn tangible, innovative solutions to help with sustainable transitions across industries. Speakers from companies and organizations including Schneider Electric, Cority, Jump Associates, Mycocycle, Plainsight, LRQA, the Alliance to Save Energy, and many more will share tactics and lessons that can help you solve your energy management, sustainability, and ESG challenges. Learn more about the #EESummit23, and then register today!

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