Threatened Farming Futures project wins award

FARMING Futures, a project facing closure after Defra withdrew its funding, has won an award for its work in raising awareness about climate change among farmers.

Forum for the Future’s project won ‘Best Public Sector’ campaign at the Global Green Awards.

Launched in 2006, the campaign is credited with helping to significantly change attitudes and stimulate practical action on climate change within the industry.

It runs a website (www.farmingfutures.org.uk) with a blog written by farmers and industry experts and organises on-farm workshops across the country.

It offers advice on issue like on-farm renewable technologies, reducing emissions from livestock, and soil management.

It claims to have a ‘brand recognition’ of almost 50 per cent among its target audience.

Its 12 on-farm workshops every year are each attended by an average of 99 farmers. At a recent workshop for the dairy industry, 33 per cent of attendees said they would ‘definitely’ take action after the event, and 65 per cent said they would ‘investigate

However, a cloud hangs over its future, after Defra turned down a request for further funding, having put in £850,000 over the first four years of the project. Staff who run the project are hoping the industry partners who support it, which include NFU, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC),  will take on the financial responsibility in future.

 Ben Tuxworth, chair of the Farming Futures partnership said: “I’m very proud that the Farming Futures team and partners have recognised by the Green Awards for our work. Farming Futures has gone from strength to strength over the years and we thank our partners for supporting us on that journey.

“We’re very keen to continue the vital work of helping farmers respond to climate change, and are hoping this award will help us attract new funding.”

The Global Green Awards were set up in 2006 to recognise and reward creative work that communicates the importance of corporate social responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector.

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