Ellen Halliday, deputy editor: The big question is, can farming be part of the solution to the climate crisis or is it contributing in large part to that crisis? Tom, why don’t you give us your opening take on that question?
Tom Martin: There’s no doubt that there have been some mistakes in farming and the industry has contributed to where we are. During the postwar years we just focused on yield. We were paid by the government to remove meadows and hedges. Now we could look back and think, “gosh, that was the worst thing we’ve ever done. We’ve been absolute vandals.”
Farmers are producers of food and, deep down, they are also stewards of the countryside. But they’re steered by the government and led by the market. That’s probably how we’ve got to where we are.
The reason I’m really excited about being in farming…
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