Farming News - Jargon Buster guide to give clarity on climate change launched

Jargon Buster guide to give clarity on climate change launched

The Prince’s Countryside Fund have today launched a new guide designed to help farmers understand and talk about climate change. The guide is in response to new research which shows that 67% of farmers think there is too much jargon used in conversations around the environment.

The guide is in response to new research which shows that 67% of farmers think there is too much jargon used in conversations around the environment.

A-Zero: A farmer’s guide to breaking free from environmental jargon was launched at an event attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, Founder and Patron of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, in addition to some of the farmers who have helped to inform the guide, at The Great Yorkshire Show. By working with farmers to translate 50 sustainability terms into language which is more accessible, the guide addresses the challenge set out by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Farmers Weekly awards in February 2021, that the current use of ‘obscure’ environmental language is ‘unhelpful’ for the agricultural industry.

Speaking at the event, HRH The Prince of Wales said: “We must recognise the day to day pressures that farmers are under, and provide our support to help them move forward – as they say, you can’t go green if you’re actually in the red. It’s self-evident that people cannot do things differently if they don’t know what is being asked of them, and it is unhelpful perhaps that many terms used to describe environmental processes are somewhat obscure and off-putting. So I really am delighted that my Countryside Fund has asked farmers themselves what would actually help here, and have put together this helpful booklet, which explains many of the more obscure terms in clear language. I am enormously grateful to McDonald’s who have most generously supported many of my Countryside Fund’s activities to date going back to 2011.

New research by The Prince’s Countryside Fund found that eight in ten UK farmers (81%) want to do more to tackle the climate challenge. However, a lack of understanding of critical sustainability terms is preventing many from taking action. The research indicated that three in four farmers (77%) say they have little or no understanding of the term ‘Natural capital’, while 61% say the same about ‘Net zero’, and 64% for ‘Zero carbon’. As well as de-mystifying these terms, the guide also offers practical examples as to what these terms mean on farm. This translation can support farmers in identifying areas they may need to address on their own farms, to help them play their part in the climate challenge.

Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “We are at a moment when we all need to accelerate our ambition and work even harder to look after each other and our planet. At McDonald’s, our partnership with the 23,000 British and Irish farmers who produce the quality ingredients for our menu is essential in creating real change. It’s why I’m so passionate about our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund and I hope this guide makes conversations about sustainability across the farming community more open and accessible. We’re committed to continuing to play our part in providing the farming community with the support, knowledge and confidence to address future challenges head-on.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “Earlier this year our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, called for more accessible language to be used to enable everyone, including the agricultural industry, to better understand the nature of the climate crisis. For the PCF, this guide is an important next step, particularly for our smaller family farms, to encourage engagement with important sustainability and environmental schemes and innovation which we believe will have a real positive impact in producing food while also enhancing Nature. We are immensely grateful to McDonald’s UK for partnering with us on this project, and for their continuing support of the PCF’s wider work in enabling family farms to thrive.”

McDonald’s and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are working together as part of a three-year partnership to support the future of the farming industry. This includes the ‘Ready for Change’ workshops, a series of events to help support the economic resilience of farming families. The workshops support livestock farmers in making informed decisions about change management on family farms, as well as helping on environment-related challenges. The charity’s research also found that 72% of farmers do not currently measure their environmental impact on their farm, making these workshops more relevant than ever.

The launch of the A-Zero Guide is an extension of McDonald’s’ commitment to supporting British and Irish farming and using its scale for good. Other initiatives include Farm Forward, an agricultural programme that aims to improve skills, animal welfare and environmental standards, decade-long support for FAI research projects and a partnership supporting industry talent through its Progressive Young Farmers programme.

More about the guide can be found here: