beyond the farm

Collaborations and Policy

Collaborations and Policy

Working with others

We feel it is part of our responsibility to share knowledge and ideas, engage in discussion and contribute to future farming policy. 

We collaborate with farmers and organisations who share our values and are working towards a more sustainable future. 

Sustainability Metrics

At Fir Farm, we are closely aligned to the Sustainable Food Trust with our work, mission and values. We have been working with the Sustainable Food Trust to trial and support the development of their Global Farm Metric (GFM) framework.  

Global Farm Metric

What is the Global Farm Metric?

The Global Farm Metric is a common framework to assess whole-farm sustainability. Drawing on environmental, social and economic data from the farm, it can be applied to all farming systems and landscapes across the globe to establish a baseline of data and create a common language for all stakeholders in the food and farming sector.

Why are we using the Global Farm Metric tool?

We recognise the Global Farm Metric as an important system of measurement. The framework is formed of 11 categories of sustainability, each containing three indicators. This whole-farm approach provides a complete view of the farm’s impacts and how they interconnect.

At present, most farmers and land managers participate in multiple and overlapping sustainability assessment schemes, required to satisfy several different stakeholders including government, certification bodies and food companies. It has been estimated that worldwide there are more than 100 different on-farm sustainability assessment tools in existence, and consequently, food producers are subjected to unnecessary expenses and time-consuming bureaucracy in meeting these compliance requirements.

Since the group started in 2016, we have contributed to research, including a gap analysis and pilot studies. We have been testing this framework on farm as part of the tests and trials of the Environmental Land Management Scheme.

Click here to read more about the project.

Click here to read the report, Sustainability Assessment: The Case for Convergence

“The work has been invaluable in setting out how to develop metrics which can be used to reward farmers, not just for improving soil health and increasing biodiversity, but also building human and social capital and strike an important balance. These kinds of high quality contributions to our consultation will help our policy to evolve.” 
Former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, speaking about the Metrics Project in 2018 

Contributions to Government Policy  

A New National Food Strategy 

On 27 June, Defra’s Secretary of State commissioned Henry Dimbleby to conduct an independent review to help the government create its first National Food Strategy for 75 years. 

Along with many other farms and food businesses, we submitted a response to the public consultation which closed in October. 

Click here to read our full response. 

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