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Agroecology: Facilitating Mindset Change

This collaborative project was designed, delivered and facilitated by a unique partnership of organisations, Nourish Scotland, Nature Friendly Farming Network, Landworkers’ Alliance, Soil Association Scotland, Pasture for Life and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. The aim of the project was to promote the concept of agroecology, foster a better understanding of  agroecology and ensure the adoption of agroecological practices among farmers, crofters and growers in Scotland.

The project’s objectives were to:

  • Foster agroecological knowledge transfer in agriculture
  • Develop the knowledge base in rural areas
  • Foster lifelong learning and vocational development in agriculture
  • Fill a gap within existing knowledge in this area (agroecology)
  • Facilitate ongoing peer-to-peer learning beyond the lifetime of this project
  • Encourage agricultural practices that preserve and enhance ecosystems and restore biodiversity

Project Partners

Nourish Scotland is a charity focused on food and farming policy in Scotland. Nourish chairs Scottish Environment Link’s food and farming group. We also convene the Scottish Food Coalition, a partnership or around 40 civil society organisations. Nourish Scotland initiated and organised the Farming for 1.5 inquiry which brought together farmers, scientists and environmentalists to develop a consensus report ‘From here to 2045’.

The Soil Association established in 1946, is the UK’s leading charity working for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Soil Association Scotland was created in 2002, to provide a focus for the Charity’s work in Scotland. The Charity has a long and successful track record of working with the Scottish Government and partners organisations to deliver programmes of work for sustainable and healthy food, farming and land use. Our programmes are delivered in partnership with a wide range of public and non-governmental organisations. These programmes aim to demonstrate and enable practical solutions for transforming the way we way eat, farm and care for the natural world to restore nature, a safe climate and health

The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) is a union of farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers with a mission to improve the livelihoods of our members and create a better food and land-use system for everyone. We operate across the UK and represent more than 1500 agroecological farmers and landworkers. Our policies, representation and training come from farmers, growers, crofters, foresters and land-based workers who have direct experiences of the issues we work on. Projects include mentoring, support for peer-to-peer networks, knowledge exchange and policy-related activities. The LWA has been active in Scotland since 2018 and published a manifesto in 2021 with financial support from the Pebble Trust.

The Food, Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC) was set up to think afresh about where our food comes from, how we support farming and rural communities and how we invest in the many benefits that the countryside provides. Since producing our recommendations and report in July 2019, and with the support of our funders Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we’ve shifted gear to turn these into practical actions and sustainable change. We are focusing wholeheartedly on our core mission – connecting food, farming and the public’s health, for a just transition to a greener, fairer economy, in response to the climate, nature and health emergencies.

The Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) is a farmer-led, independent UK organisation established in November 2017 with a growing farmer and public membership. NFFN unites farmers and crofters who are committed to managing their land for wildlife and the delivery of public goods, as well as growing and providing healthy and nutritious food. The membership covers a range of backgrounds big and small, organic and conventional and seeks to secure positive changes in policy, including how farming is supported by the public. With an established NFFN Scotland Steering Group and a dedicated Scotland Sustainable Farming Lead, NFFN works to raise awareness of nature friendly farming in Scotland, shares insights and experience and works in collaboration with others for better policies for food and farming.

Pasture For Life (PFL) is the UK’s only certification body for 100% Pasture-fed beef, lamb and dairy products. With over 800 members, paying an annual fee each year and more than 130 certified farms, PFL is the home of grass-fed ruminant agriculture in the UK. The organisation promotes the unique quality of produce raised exclusively on pasture, and the wider environmental and animal welfare benefits that pastured livestock systems represent. PFL is at the cutting edge of new grazing management techniques, is a platform for regenerative farmers to learn and succeed and is committed to providing support for farmers transitioning to more sustainable production methods. With a strong research focus, PFL is a highly networked organisation promoting the interests of its members and ensuring a secure and robust future for them.

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