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Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles urges more backing for small farms

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales
Photo by Northern Ireland Office

Prince Charles will be on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme today to discuss sustainable farming. He has long championed environmental causes, including sustainable farming and food production.

The Prince of Wales has shown interest in the environment for much of his environmental life. He has prioritised sustainable farming on his own properties, including Highgrove House and the close by Duchy Home Farm. In the mid-1980s, he upset many British farmers by switching to organic farming. However, by the early 2000s, many farmers had made the switch themselves and have adopted many of his practices. New sustainable farming practices are tried out regularly at the farm, and the food produced is used for Duchy Originals.

Speaking on the programme, he stressed the importance of needed changes to the agricultural industry. 

“With roughly half of all the habitable land on earth used for agriculture, I cannot think of a sector more central to the survival of the planet. How we produce food has a direct impact on the earth’s capacity to sustain us, which has a direct impact on human health and economic prosperity.

 As we profit from nature, so nature must profit from us, but our current approach will lead to a dead-end, no matter how cost-effective intensive food production appears to be…

Our current approach is forcing many small family farms to the wall. If they go, it will quite simply rip the heart out of the British countryside.”

The Prince of Wales highlighted different public figures working towards improving diet and food understanding, including footballer Marcus Rashford who has focused on providing food to children in need. 

He went on to speak of different investment opportunities for farmers who are working towards environmentally-friendly food production. “In the beginning of 2020, I went on to launch my sustainable markets initiative, aiming to put private sector investors together with the many innovative and sustainable approaches that now exist.” 

Prince Charles’ essay is released ahead of the second part of the National Food Strategy’s release, which will focus on the connections between intensive food production and environmental degradation. He also noted that he hopes that these issues will be discussed at COP26, the United Nations conference on climate change which will be taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. 

“We must put nature back at the heart of the equation.”

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