Shelley Abbott, Fair to Nature Technical Facilitator, shares the findings of a recent survey highlighting that the UK's food and farming system is a key ally in the face of the nature and climate emergency.  

European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) perched on shopping trolley (

New research commissioned by our ground-breaking food and farming certification scheme Fair to Nature highlights the growing concern about nature loss and a desire to halt its decline, with 67% of UK adults found to be concerned with the decline in the variety of UK wildlife compared to 50 years ago.

The results of the Ipsos UK survey provide a “wake-up call” to farmers, food and drink brands and supermarkets, with 50% of those surveyed saying protecting wildlife habitats should be an environmental priority in the UK.

In fact, with more choice than ever, 55% of people surveyed use certification labels to help them choose what food and drink to buy. With the newly launched on-pack RSPB branding for Fair to Nature certification, consumers are now provided with the reassurance they need that their choices are scientifically proven to reverse wildlife declines and deliver the highest level of biodiversity.

Managed by the RSPB, Fair to Nature is the only UK certification scheme with a focus on biodiversity and reversing the loss of nature that threatens our long-term food supply. With research showing that UK wildlife decline is a key concern of consumers, the certification scheme not only boosts biodiversity, but consumer confidence too.

Talking of the significance of the scheme, Mark Varney, head of Fair to Nature said: “These results are a wake-up call to farmers, food brands and supermarkets that their shoppers want to see action in helping reverse the terrifying loss of biodiversity that is taking place. Over recent years in the UK we’ve seen the disappearance of half of our native farmland wildlife and witnessed the ecosystems we all depend on for our food come under threat. Put simply, without nature there is no food, and in the fight against the Nature and Climate Emergency, the UK’s food and farming system is a key ally.

“Not only this, but as the results show, ethical consumerism is on the rise, especially when it comes to food and drink. Shoppers are looking for messaging that’s easy to recognise, connect with and understand. Fair to Nature does exactly what it says on the label and keeps consumers coming back, safe in the knowledge that they can trust a standard guaranteed by science and run by the RSPB.”

Food brands and supermarkets who support Fair to Nature agree to buy from certified farms and can display the new Fair to Nature logo on the packaging of certified products, ensuring consumers are able to make positive choices to spend their money in support of restoring critical farm ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

The ground-breaking Fair to Nature initiative has already achieved incredible results: one farm has seen a 226% increase in breeding birds, a 213% increase in farmland butterflies, almost double the floral diversity and up to 19 times more bees than typical farms.

By restoring the balance of nature in farming and increasing biodiversity, farmers also reap the on-farm benefits of the standard. Increased pollinator numbers, improvements in soil quality and a reduction in the volume of chemicals required can save money and helps to bolster the long-term security of food production.

The Fair to Nature certification standard is available to arable, dairy, livestock, horticultural and wine producers. Fair to Nature farmers make at least 10% of their farmed land, including areas difficult to farm productively, available to a range of high-quality nature habitats, whilst managing their soils and inputs in more sustainable ways that are supportive and work alongside nature.