There are two levels of Conservation Grade farmer membership – full membership and foundation level membership. The criteria and benefits of both are described below:

Full Conservation Grade Membership

Full membership is a requirement of having a contract to supply an accredited brand with Fair to Nature produce.

Benefits of Full Membership

  • A contract to supply Fair to Nature accredited produce to an accredited licensee/brand
  • Invitation to attend Conservation Grade regional technical update meetings held twice yearly on a Conservation Grade farm
  • Farm conservation and habitat management advice from Conservation Grade advisers
  • Receipt of the Conservation Grade newsletter
  • Increased recognition for practical measures undertaken for nature and the environment
  • Practical implementation techniques to enable increased business sustainability leading to reductions in costs (i.e. Integrated Pest Management using habitat provision).
  • Invitation to enter the Conservation Grade Farmer of the Year Award

To meet the requirements of Full Membership farmers, must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Commit at least 10% of the farmed area (total farm area minus the area taken up by buildings, roads, tracks, hedges, woodland, and permanent pasture) to a range of managed wildlife habitats as specified in the Conservation Grade Protocol:
    • Pollen & Nectar habitat (minimum of 4% comprising of a minimum of 1.5% grass and wildflower habitat and a maximum of 2.5% legume habitat, can include annually cultivated natural regeneration up to a maximum 0.5%)
    • Wild Bird Food (minimum of 2%)
    • Tussocky & fine grass (minimum of 2%)
    • Other habitats (minimum of 2%, comprising existing and new habitat features such as hedges, woodland, some low input grassland, etc)
  2. Full membership of an approved Assured Farm Standards farm assurance scheme (e.g. Red Tractor, GlobalGap, etc.)
  3. Complete and have available a Farm Environment Plan
  4. Participate in the training programmes provided for members
  5. Comply with the production standards as stated in the conservation Grade Protocol
  6. Pass an annual audit

Cost of Full Conservation Grade Membership

The annual cost of Full Conservation Grade membership is £65 + VAT membership fee and £200 + VAT audit fee (Red Tractor members receive a discounted audit fee of £150).

How to join

If you are interested in becoming a Conservation Grade farmer member please complete the Membership Enquiry form.


Foundation Level Membership

Benefits of Foundation Level Membership

Conservation Grade Foundation Level members enjoy many of the benefits of full Conservation Grade membership including the following:

  • Access to Fair to Nature contract offers
  • Invitation to attend Conservation Grade regional technical update meetings held twice yearly on a Conservation Grade farm
  • Farm conservation and habitat management advice from Conservation Grade advisers
  • Receipt of the Conservation Grade newsletter
  • Increased recognition for practical measures undertaken for nature and the environment
  • Practical implementation techniques to enable increased business sustainability leading to reductions in costs (i.e. Integrated Pest Management using habitat provision).
  • Invitation to enter the Conservation Grade Farmer of the Year Award

To meet the requirements of the Conservation Grade Foundation Level Membership, farmers must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Commit at least 5% of the farmed area (total farm area minus the area taken up by buildings, roads, tracks, hedges, woodland, and permanent pasture) to the specified range of managed wildlife habitats. The habitats are as defined in the Conservation Grade Protocol and must comprise the following:
    • Insect rich areas (minimum 2%, comprising pollen & nectar habitat and annually cultivated areas)
    • Winter bird food (minimum 2%)
    • Tussocky & fine grass (minimum 1%)

Note: These areas must be verified by a Conservation Grade approved independent conservation organisation

  1. Be full members of an approved Assured Food Standards farm assurance scheme (e.g. Red Tractor, GlobalGap, etc.)
  2. Comply with the Conservation Grade production standards (as defined in the Conservation Grade Protocol)
  3. Undertake the annual Foundation Level self audit 

Verification of Conservation Grade habitat areas

The habitat areas required under Foundation Level Membership must be verified annually by a specialist farm advisor from a conservation organisation approved by Conservation Grade. Approved organisations can include the following:

Contact details of the verifier must be recorded in the appropriate question in the self audit questionnaire.

Cost of Conservation Grade Foundation Level membership

The annual cost of Conservation Grade Foundation Level membership is £150 +VAT

How to join

If you are interested in becoming a Conservation Grade farmer member please complete the Membership Enquiry form.

Self-Audit questionnaire

The audit, which must be completed annually, is designed as a self-assessment tool for farmers who are Foundation Level Members of Conservation Grade’s Fair to Nature farm certification scheme. The audit is divided into ten sections, and asks a series of questions about your farming and business practices with special relevance to conservation and environmental management.

To complete the audit online, please click here.

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