The following are some of the most frequent questions we are asked about Fair to Nature farming.
Is Fair to Nature similar to Organic farming?
Not really. Fair to Nature uses some conventional agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, but it ensures that they are applied in such a way as to ensure that they do not have an adverse impact on the natural environment. Some pesticides that have a proven detrimental affect on the wider farmland biodiversity are prohibited under the Fair to Nature scheme.
What makes Fair to Nature farming so different…?
- It delivers wildlife increases that are both motivating and engaging
- It encompasses the highest standards of food safety
- It is recognised by leading environmental organisations and individuals
- It is backed by the highest level of scientific credibility
- It will add unique value and differentiation to food brands
If Fair to Nature farming allows agrochemicals surely this will affect wildlife?
Independently monitored research has identified that following the Fair to Nature farming protocols can achieve whole farm increases of 41% in bird numbers (including a 1400% increase in tree sparrows on one farm); 13.5% increase in bird species; 22% increase in butterfly species; and an overall 25% increase in total species on farm. The key thing is to ensure chemicals are used safely and wisely and not in ways that can adversely affect biodiversity. We regularly review pesticide usage for potential impact on the environment. For example, the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been implicated as having some effect on bee populations; their decline having been widely reported in the media. In the UK, there is currently no complete ban in place and the balance of evidence to date indicates that widespread bee decline may have more to do with increases in the prevalence of varroa mite and nosema, as well as habitat loss. Even so, Fair to Nature is closely monitoring ongoing research and has provided advice to farmers on alternatives.Doesn’t there come a point where conservation and commerce collide?
In order to avoid a conflict between economics and ecology, it is critically important that consumers understand that by turning food into a commodity, at the cheapest possible price, then there is no room for wildlife. What Fair to Nature seeks to do is to strike a balance – in effect farming for food and for nature side by side, the consumer then has a choice – food from an ecological desert or from Fair to Nature farms buzzing with biodiversity.
What’s the key to Fair to Nature’s ‘miracle cure’ for ecological impoverishment?
Over 90% of the decline in farmland wildlife is due to loss of habitat. The answer to this is the provision of agri-ecological habitats that provide the ultimate fuel for nature’s food chain – pollen and nectar and winter bird food. Fair to Nature has developed seed mixes in easy to understand ‘recipes’ that farmers are required to farm in much the same way as they do with their crops.
How do new farmers join?
Subject to availability of crop production contracts, farms are then inspected and put on a 2 year probationary period. During this time they undergo training and help to set up the required habitats. Interested farmers should contact Conservation Grade directly (see contact us).
Costs are comprised of:
- Set up fees
- Annual membership subscription
- Annual audit costs
How do new licensees join?
Fair to Nature is available to brand owners/licensees by invitation only
- Licences are granted for specific sectors, geography and periods of time
- Exclusivity within a particular sector may be available and can be discussed on a case by case basis
Costs are comprised of:
– A levy (licence fee) on Fair to Nature endorsed sales turnover
– A premium payment to Fair to Nature farmers for the supply of accredited produce
What do licensees get?
- Authority to use Conservation Grade logo
- Fair to Nature marketing and PR support:
– PR campaigns targeting influential consumer and trade media
– Marketing opportunities with other scheme members and supporting organisations
– Access to Fair to Nature resources and expertise