Mentions of soil health, AD, and food waste in the Governments’ Clean Growth Strategy

On 12 October 2017 the Government released its’ Clean Growth Strategy (view the full document here). Below is a briefing on lines in the strategy which refer to soil health, AD, and food waste.

This Strategy sets out a comprehensive set of policies and proposals that aim to accelerate the pace of "clean growth”, i.e. deliver increased economic growth and decreased emissions.

Soil Health:
  •  To support greater productivity of agricultural land, we need to: increase carbon storage through fertilising crops more effectively, develop new animal and plant breeding technologies, use precision farming technologies on smaller scale farms, and develop robotics and new sensor technologies. We also need to reduce plant and tree disease and investigate methods to improve soil health and carbon stocks. Page 53

  • We will aim to target new sustainable land management techniques to overcome the decline in soil quality in the UK and the impact on productivity. We are already funding UK research into soils to deliver greenhouse gas removals (GGR) and abatement technologies as part of the £8.6 million research on GGRs280. Page 110
  • Low emission farming techniques: We will reduce the costs of resource use in crop and livestock production by: improving our understanding of crop soil interactions; explore the potential of robotics and the latest sensor technologies; precision farming technologies more viable on smaller scale farms, investigate the potential of improving soil health and carbon stocks. Page 111

Anaerobic Digestion:
  •  We need to ensure the sector continues to support our carbon and air quality goals, and that best practice is followed when digestate is spread to land to minimise ammonia release and air quality and pollutant impacts. This includes development of improved digestion and ammonia and phosphate extraction technologies while working with the sector to focus on reducing methane emissions. Page 111

  • We need to minimise the impacts of anaerobic digestion, particularly in relation to air quality. This includes developing improved digestion and ammonia and phosphate extraction technologies and reducing methane emissions. Innovative techniques are also needed to reduce the impact of landfills at the end of their use. Page 53

Food Waste:
  •  Action to divert more food waste than ever before from landfill, to support resource productivity and avoid further emissions by preventing food waste in the first place. Page 105

 By working in partnership with industry, we will be able to seek out opportunities to achieve even greater levels of recycling, improve the utilisation of our food and biowaste and incentivise activities such as reuse, repair and remanufacturing – protecting our environment and strengthening our economy in the long-term. Page 108

  • We will work towards no food waste entering landfill by 2030. Many local authorities have introduced separate collection of food waste and we will work to support more so that the amount of food waste sent to landfill continues to decline. Page 108

  • We will take action through the Courtauld 2025 Agreement to reduce the amount of food that is wasted in the UK. This could deliver up to £20 billion worth of savings to the UK economy between 2015 and 2025278. We will also divert more food from landfill to support resource productivity and avoid further emissions. Page 109
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