Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme
The Charitable Foundation and Waitrose support sustainable farming
The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation has provided funding for a pioneering new project to help British farmers improve their productivity in an environmentally responsible way. The Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme is being delivered by the Soil Association, the UK’s leading organic food and farming charity, in partnership with Duchy Originals from Waitrose, The Prince of Wales’s organic food business.
The new programme involves farmers across the country in developing innovative techniques aimed at improving yields and nutritional performance in organic and low-input agriculture. At its heart is a network of on-farm events, led by farmers and growers, where farmers share their know-how, work with scientists to design field experiments, and pinpoint practical challenges. These will shape the priorities for a new research fund, which will target key barriers to sustainable farming and food systems.
One of the key aims of the Programme is to help farmers make the best use of renewable resources and sustainable management techniques in order to build soil fertility and control pests and diseases. The Programme focuses on ecological farming, especially approaches that reduce farmers’ reliance on expensive inputs. It is therefore be particularly relevant to producers who farm to organic standards, yet open to all.
The Soil Association’s Dr Tom MacMillan, says: “The stark challenges facing food and farming – rapid environmental change, the increasing costs of oil and other agricultural inputs, the need to provide better nutrition for more people - mean we must work together, as a farming community, to try and develop the best, most sustainable practices."
”Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association adds: “We are thrilled to be working with Duchy Originals on this important programme. By allying scientific excellence with practical farming experience we believe it will deliver real benefits on the ground. The programme will be developed to share best practice and target research at the sustainability challenges that matter most to farmers; working with Duchy Originals from Waitrose aligns this with a powerful brand that has organic values at its core.”
Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director, says: “Waitrose is especially proud to be involved with the Duchy Future Farming Programme as it complements other areas of agricultural work we are supporting. This is a timely programme that is set to deliver real benefits on farm, exactly what good research should do.”