Rothamsted Research comments on today's announcement of the public consultation to pay farmers “public money for public goods”, principally to enhance the environment and to invest in sustainable food production.

  • 27
  • FEB
  • 2018

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the government's consultation announced today, "The future for farming, food and the environment", is being presented as an opportunity for farmers to be more central to government thinking than at any time in the past 50 years.

“The proposals in this paper set out a range of possible paths to a brighter future for farming," says Environment Secretary Michael Gove. "They are the beginning of a conversation, not a conclusion, and we want everyone who cares about the food we eat and the environment around us to contribute.”

Comment from Rothamsted Research

Angela Karp, Director for Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships
“It’s great to see food production and farming high on the Government’s agenda again today. Rothamsted fully supports the direction of travel at the launch of today’s consultation on rewarding farmers for public goods, such as enhancing the environment and sustainable food production.

"Agricultural practice should progress hand-in-hand with protections for our soils, air and water quality, and Rothamsted’s Strategy Report 2017-2022 sets out how we will help to bring about this change.

"It will be important that funding under the Transforming Food Production Challenge, announced last week at the NFU conference by Business Secretary Greg Clark, also recognises and supports this direction of travel and the innovations needed to achieve it.

"This is a critical moment, when agricultural science and technology in the UK must be brought to bear on the challenges of sustainable food production for the benefit of all.”

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes

About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.