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Are you a Climate Change Champion? New quest to reward farmers launched

23rd Oct 2019

Source: Crop protection monthly  Author Tom Allen - Stevens

Its time for Britain's arable Climate Change Champions to step forward and help shape the future of crop production. 

All you have to do is fill out this simple form to nominate yourself in this worthy role. As well as asking background questions about your farm, you’ll be asked to give 100 words each on measures you follow that illustrate your Productivity push, Cultivation care, and Bio-based boldness. But more than anything we want to hear your Inspirational ideas – there’s 200 words for this bit.

Not sure whether you’re up for it? We have some more information on what makes a Climate Change Champion, which includes details on these key criteria. Further details on judging, what the initiative involves and the outcomes we’re hoping for can be found below.

Nominations close on 30 Nov, 2019. All nominees will be informed whether they are successful by 31 Dec, 2019.

Am I a Climate Change Champion?

There’s a good chance practices you currently have on your farm contribute towards the Net Zero objective the industry has set itself. The questions in the form will give you an idea of the sort of person suited to this initiative. Don’t feel you have to score full marks on every count – what’ll make the difference is the individual ideas that inspire others, rather than a full polished portfolio.

So if you believe you could make a palpable difference, and you’re prepared to put your head above the parapet, and do so with a sense of purpose, then you’re exactly the sort of person to lead crop production forward, and shape how our industry addresses this worthy challenge.

Why is CPM doing this?

CPM readers are the progressive arable farmers – the thought leaders who always initiate positive change. When it comes to climate change, however, the arable sector is behind the curve – combinable crops growers have never had the incentive to put climate change into the strategy as part of what they do. Those in horticulture, even beef and lamb, are closer to this than the combinable crops sector.

So farmers have been set on a direction and it’ll up to the thought leaders to indicate where that will lead. This is where the CPM reader comes in, as someone who recognises positive change and progression in the industry, and has done time and time again.

Will this initiative actually make a difference?


But this will depend on who steps forward.

We’re working with the NFU to ensure the CPM Climate Change Champions are at the forefront of the conversation on how UK Agriculture, and indeed agriculture globally, takes potential solutions to climate change forward. This is the opportunity for arable farmers to put forward their case. No one is in a better position to make that case than a UK farmer who has actually put into practice the very activities that may deliver Net Zero.

Do I have to nominate myself?

Yes. Only self-nominations will be considered for judging.

If you know someone you feel should be a Climate Change Champion, you should encourage them to apply.

To be considered, you must be actively farming in the UK, or representing farming interests that deliver the aim of this initiative. In other words, if you’re not a farmer, but everything else about this says you should put your name forward, please, please do.

How will nominees be selected?

We’re looking to end up with around 6-10 Champions who will lead the arable sector on climate change and lead the discussion on how it progresses towards Net Zero.

The judging panel, which decides the candidates for Climate Change Champions, will consist of a representative from CPM and one from each of the sponsors. Each chosen candidate will have a partner sponsor who may offer them additional help and support. The decision of the judging panel is final and all nominees, both successful and otherwise, will be informed by 31 Dec 2019.

What do I have to commit to this?

Each of the chosen Climate Change Champions will feature in a three-page on-farm profile article in CPM, which will be published in 2020. The basis of this article will be a visit to their farm from a CPM journalist and may involve a representative from the sponsor and/or a partner organisation.

The aim of the article is to get an insight into the farm, the business, and especially the candidate themselves – their ideas and experiences, both good and bad, that relate to their personal Net Zero journey.

Then, in November 2020, the Climate Change Champions and their sponsors will be invited to an event (details TBC) at which the overall Climate Change Champion 2020 will be announced.

The event will also be an opportunity to cement the Net Zero opportunities highlighted during the year, to feed these back to industry and to Government and to make a step change in UK Farming’s journey towards Net Zero. The highlights of this event will be published by CPM in Dec 2020.

So in essence, the time commitment is half a day showing a CPM journalist and others round your farm, and then a day, probably in London, to help set forward the route map to Net Zero.

How will the award be judged?

We’re looking to award the title of CPM Climate Change Champion 2020. This will be decided by CPM readers.

Each article will be presented in a way that allows the reader to form a view of the candidate’s inspirational ideas, productivity push, cultivation care and bio-based boldness – criteria that relate to the nomination form and will be pursued further during the farm visit.

Once published, the article will also be freely available to view on the CPM website.

The initiative will run throughout 2020, and in October 2020, CPM readers will be invited to vote for which of the candidates they feel should be Climate Change Champion 2020. The voting will be through an on-line survey that allows respondents to score the candidates according to some key criteria.

How are the sponsors involved?

One of the key aspects of Climate Change Champions is that this is a partnership approach – we’re looking to the supply trade to step forward as much we’re looking to individual farmers.

There will be a maximum of ten sponsors and we welcome expressions of interest. CPM will work with those partner companies to ensure each of the Climate Change Champions receive the profile they deserve, not just in the one issue of CPM in which they feature, but also on-line and through other activity that will help tell their story and its contribution towards the wider industry Net Zero journey.

The exact nature of the relationship and support offered by the sponsor to their chosen Champion will be agreed by the individuals, but will involve at least the farm visit and related article and attendance at the event in Nov 2020. Any company interested in sponsoring should contact [email protected]

Climate Change Champions

UK Farming has set itself the challenging target of Net Zero emissions by 2040. Although led by the NFU, it will take the entire industry, working together in a partnership approach to meet this ambitious goal.

But there are individual growers, thought leaders who have already started on this journey. They have the ideas, the progressive outlook and the determination to shape positive change. CPM has teamed up with leading agricultural suppliers who have a credible Net Zero aspiration to identify these individuals and bring them into the top-level discussion about how farming can position itself as the solution to climate change.

We’re inviting arable farmers who feel they can meet the challenge of Net Zero to step forward and nominate themselves to this worthy role. CPM readers will then get the chance to decide who will be awarded the accolade of Climate Change Champion 2020.

For more information please click here