Sustainable farming in the UK, a podcast and some thoughts

Here’s a podcast with David Wilkinson, head of European agriculture for PepsiCo, on the challenges and opportunities for sustainability in UK agriculture.

Yesterday we held a round table debate sponsored by PepsiCo with around 25 leading figures in the area, including Charles Secrett and Peter Melchett. For a post roundtable podcast with Charles, click here.

The full audio of the roundtable discussion is available here.

PepsiCo’s UK sustainable farming targets are both hugely ambitious and impressive. In short they aim to reduce both carbon and water use by 50% in just five years.

At the end of the round table we took a vote on whether these aims could be achieved.

Our attendees, from farmers, to NGOs and companies, were overwhelmingly positive that it could be done.

If you listen to the podcast you’ll hear from David Wilkinson how they came up with the aims.

What impresses me about large companies on sustainability, time and again among the leaders in the field, is how fast they take decisions once they have done their research.

Imagine if government could act like this a little more. We’d be a lot closer to overall human sustainability if they could.

If David Cameron’s government wants to devolve action to companies, NGOs and others, as part of the Big Society plan, that’s a key lesson to learn for the others in the mix.

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