New competition aims to celebrate on-farm sustainability

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  • New award from BASF aims to celebrate sustainability efforts of UK & Ireland farmers.
  • Applications are open until 20th May 2022 via the BASF website 
  • Winner will receive range of prizes to support future sustainability activities    

A new award has been launched that will celebrate the invaluable work farmers are doing to reach their sustainability targets, as well as challenge them to think about how they will evolve their businesses to meet the UK’s net-zero and biodiversity targets over the next twenty years.

Launched by BASF, The Rawcliffe Bridge Award will recognise how farmers are tackling sustainability from all perspectives, including the environment, societal and financial sustainability.  In partnership with Farm 491 and the Institute of Ag Management, the competition is open to all types of farming operations and will look at past successes, current approach and future plans.

Commenting on the award, Mike Green, BASF Agricultural Sustainability Manager, explained the inspiration for the competition.

“It was our biodiversity and advocacy work with the Hinchliffe family at Rawcliffe Bridge that sparked the idea for the competition. This year we celebrate our 20th Anniversary at Rawcliffe, and we have been reflecting on what we have learnt and how much agriculture has changed over the past two decades.” 

BASF has a long-standing legacy of investing in the arena of agricultural sustainability. Their partnered sustainability farms at Rawcliffe Bridge, near Goole and with the Pitts family at The Grange, near Northampton, have developing a wide range of biodiversity and sustainability measures – from the simple, like B&B nesting boxes and wild bird crops for birds, to full-scale trial plots for assessing different management measures. 

Mike added that both farms have given a real-world farm situation to welcome thousands of policymakers, advisors, NGOs and people from the food supply chain and retail. “It is more essential that ever to demonstrate the great practices farmers have in place, and are developing, to show how profitable farming and environmental sustainability can work hand in hand.” 

Richard Price, Estate Manager at Tetworth Hall Estate, and member of the Institute for Ag Management, has supported the development of the competition. “Farms need to be profitable to be sustainable. What’s more, they need people to run them. We are keen to hear how businesses are engaging with the next generation to ensure the longevity of their business.” 

Sarah Carr, Head of Farm491, the agritech incubation hub, added, “This competition is a fantastic way to celebrate the forward-thinking work that farmers are already doing. We see it every day at Farm491, how innovations can be used to improve environmental sustainability. This is an area of the competition which we are particularly excited to learn more about.”

All applicants will receive a Biggest Job on Earth t-shirt from BASF, with the winner receiving a bespoke ceremonial plate at BASF’s 20th Anniversary celebrations for Rawcliffe Bridge this summer, a free ticket to the Institute of Ag Management’s annual conference, and access to the expert network run by Farm491. 

The competition closes at mid-night on 20th May 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be visited by a judging panel of industry representatives and farmers. The overall winner will be announced in July 2022.

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