UK To Make Its First School Of Sustainable Food And Farming In Newport

The School Of Sustainable Food And Farming Claims To Be The First Of Its Type In The UK, Offering Both Undergraduate And Short Courses

First students arrive at School of Sustainable Food and Farming in Newport, a partnership between Harper Adams University, the NFU, Morrisons, and McDonald’s UK The UK’s first sustainable food and farming school is set for its inaugural intake of budding green farmers from today, thanks to a partnership between Harper Adams University, the National Farmers Union, supermarket Morrisons, and fast food giant McDonald’s UK.

Based at the University’s Newport campus, the School of Sustainable Food and Farming claims to be the first of its type in the UK, offering both undergraduate and short courses on regenerative farming methods for livestock, soil health, and biodiversity to help equip students with skills in climate-friendly food production. The University claims the new school will bring together “all of the latest thinking and learning on farming using sustainable methods”, covering a wide range of topics from carbon sequestration, on-farm green energy such as anaerobic digestion plants, and better understanding of the value of carbon. The school plans to provide on-the-farm learning, led by experts in agronomy, veterinary practice, and nutrition, while also acting as a hub for sharing the latest thinking, learning, and policy engagement on sustainable farming practices.

Professor Michael Lee, deputy vice chancellor at Harper Adams University, said the nature of farming was changing and there was a need to better understand the importance of sustainable food production. “It is time for modern agricultural institutions to develop the systems we need to support this production for the 21st Century – such as this School, which brings together the expertise we have at Harper Adams with the experience of industry, wherever it is needed in the country,” he explained. “What we are doing here is pioneering, and it will help the UK to lead the world in agricultural thinking and practice.”

Sophie Throup, head of agriculture at Morrisons, stressed the need to “revolutionise our food production”, as she hailed the “unique” new school. “It’s the first time the NFU, restaurants, supermarkets and universities have come together to act with one voice for the greater good,” she explained. “We have supported the development of this school both for our own farmers – but also for the nation’s farmers. It will play an important part in helping all of Morrisons farmers to get to net zero agri by 2030, but Morrisons also wanted to help create a legacy for all of UK farming.”

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union, said the new school would help equip the UK with the skills and knowledge required to support the farming sector’s target to reach net zero emissions by 2040, and for the country as a whole to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It comes amid concerns were raised again last week by the NFU that the UK’s free trade policies and recent deals with New Zealand and Australia could open the door to imports of food produced to lower environmental standards than in the UK, which risks undercutting British farmers and undermining green standards. But Batters suggested the new School could play an influential role on the world stage. “It will help our farmers – both established and new – take on the role of world leaders in climate-friendly food production, paving the way for farming across the world in a sustainable and beneficial way,” she said.

This news was originally published at Business Green

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