Prince Charles launches new guide to help farmers talk about and tackle climate change

A guide to breaking down the lingo to help farmers understand and talk about climate change has been launched by Prince Charles’ rural charity.

Produced by the Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) and McDonald’s UK, the booklet comes in response to new research which shows 67% of farmers think there is too much jargon used in conversations about the environment.

Entitled “A-Zero: A Farmer’s Guide to Breaking Free from Environmental Jargon”, it was officially launched at an event attended by the Prince of Wales, founder and patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, in addition to some of the farmers who inform the guide, at the Great Yorkshire Show last week.

Prince Charles launches the guide during the Great Yorkshire Show 2021. Photo: Mark Lord Photography

By working with farmers to translate 50 sustainability terms into more accessible language, the guide responds to the Prince’s challenge at the 2021 Farmers Weekly Awards in February that the current use of ‘obscure’ environmental language is “Unnecessary” for the agricultural industry.

Speaking on the Great Yorkshire Show on July 15, he said: ‘We need to recognize the daily pressures farmers are under and provide our support to help them move forward – as they say you can’t turn green if you’re actually in the red. It stands to reason that people cannot do things differently if they don’t know what is being asked of them, and it may be pointless that many terms used to describe environmental processes are somewhat obscure and off-putting. .

“So I am really delighted that my Countryside Fund has asked the farmers themselves what would be really useful here and that they have written this useful booklet, which explains many of the more obscure terms in plain language. I am extremely grateful to McDonald’s who have very generously supported many of my Countryside Fund activities to date since 2011. ”

New research from the Prince’s Countryside Fund, established in 2010 to support family farms and rural communities, 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 prevents much action. The study 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% say “zero carbon”. “.

In addition to demystifying these terms, the A-Zero Guide also provides practical examples of what these terms mean on the farm. This translation can help farmers identify areas they may need to address on their own farms, to help them play their part in the climate challenge.

Paul Pomroy, Managing Director of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “We are at a time when we all need to step up our ambition and work even harder to take care of each other and our planet. At McDonald’s, our partnership with the 23,000 UK and Irish farmers who produce the quality ingredients for our menu is key to creating real change.

McDonald's is a long-time supporter of agriculture and relies on over 23,000 UK and Irish farmers to help produce the quality ingredients that go into the food they are famous for.
McDonald’s is a long-time supporter of agriculture and relies on over 23,000 UK and Irish farmers to help produce the quality ingredients that go into the food they are famous for.

“This is why I am so passionate about our partnership with the Prince’s Countryside Fund and I hope this guide will make the conversations about sustainability within the farming community more open and accessible. We are committed to continuing to play our role in providing the farming community with the support, knowledge and confidence to face future challenges head-on.

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, added: “Earlier this year our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, called for the use of more accessible language to empower everyone, including the industry. agriculture, to better understand the nature of the climate crisis.

“For the PCF, this guide is an important next step, especially for our small family farms, to encourage engagement in important sustainability and environmental programs and innovations that we believe will have a real impact. positive on food production while improving nature. “

Mr Halstead continued: “We are extremely grateful to McDonald’s UK for partnering with us on this project and for their continued support of the larger PCF work to enable family farms to thrive.

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

The A-Zero guide will be available for viewing and downloading online, in addition to being printed on paper made from recycled coffee mugs, including those from McDonald’s, and distributed to farmers through the Prince’s Farm Resilience Program. Countryside Fund. Please visit for more details.

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