Jo Colman, Chief Mint Officer and Mark Varney, Head of Fair to Nature, walking in our fields discussing hedgerow management
Our three herbal teas have been RSPB Fair to Nature certified
To tell you more about the scheme and the reasons behind it, we caught up with Kevin Rylands, RSPB Farm Conservation Advisor, whose role it is to visit farms and talk to farmers about the habits on their farms and suggest ways that they can further encourage wildlife to thrive on their land.
How did Fair to Nature start?
RSPB Fair to Nature started as an arable only certification but it has been expanded
to cover a whole range of farm types including livestock and dairy. The standard
behind the label has been developed in conjunction with nine other nature
conversation organisations as part of the Farm Wildlife partnership and is based on
scientific evidence for how to support nature recovery in our countryside.
What is the RSPB Fair to Nature scheme and how do you become a Fair to Nature farm?
RSPB Fair to Nature is the UK’s only farm certification scheme focusing on restoring biodiversity. Too many farmland species are under threat from intensive farming – and yet farming needs healthy wildlife if we are to secure food production for the future. Working with farmers to ensure 10% of their farmed land is managed with nature, is enabling the re-emergence of richer, more diverse wildlife habitats - fuelling a return to the balance of nature.
Can you tell us more about the Fair to Nature licence scheme?
Fair to Nature not only works with farmers but also with food businesses that buy the produce from certified farms. Licensed businesses can then use the Fair to Nature mark to help shoppers choose nature-friendly products and support nature-friendly farming.
What does the scheme hope to achieve?
We want to replicate the success of schemes like Fairtrade. Consumers are aware of the climate and biodiversity crises and want to make a difference. We want households to be able to fill their shopping baskets with products from businesses that support nature-friendly farmers. From staples such as bread, milk and vegetables to herbal teas, and biscuits, even clothing and pet food, Britain’s farmers produce them all and with support can produce nature alongside.
Is there really a biodiversity crisis?
The most recent State of Nature report is grim reading. It is a sad truth that 97% of our species-rich grassland (wildflower meadows) have disappeared since the 2nd World War and now this important habitat just covers 1% of Britain. And it’s not just wildflower meadows that are in decline. We know that if we create space for nature, it will flourish and with 70% of the country farmed, farmers will be the driving force for nature’s recovery.
Why should shoppers choose Fair to Nature products?
Fair to Nature makes it easier for everyone to make nature-friendly choices. We know people want to take action, so they can look for the RSPB Fair to Nature Mark.
Look out for the RSPB Fair to Nature mark on packs