Making Sustainable Farming Come alive
in Germany

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Supporting sustainability through a holistic approach to farming.

The term Integrated Farming (IF) means many things to many people, however one organisation, EISA (European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture) has been working hard to clarify its focus and build on a strong definition, at the same time creating a framework for farmers to adopt and adapt to their farm.

On the global level, there is a significant concern about food security and supply alongside the reduction in impact on our valuable natural resources. Food security is being increasingly challenged by resource constraints, i.e. use of water, energy, land or oil, and also the environmental risks associated with climate change.

Holistic concept as a starting point

Integrated Farming, as defined by EISA, looks at farming businesses from a holistic point of view. It focuses on decisions according to a given site and situation – and the best combination of traditional knowledge and experience with up-to-date education, research and innovation.

To make the right decisions, farmers need a “tool box” of strategies and measures which enables them to make the optimum choice. And yet, to make the best use of this “tool-box”, there is one more essential element of Integrated Farming: The willingness to continuously improve, develop new skills, and search out innovations that offer further sustainable progress.

Integrated Farming is a management system that maximises the efficiency of resource use to produce a high output of quality food whilst enhancing biodiversity and the environment. And, for a truly holistic approach, communication and public involvement are also important to bring in new ideas, to build understanding, acceptance and trust.

Help farmers to “GreenUp” on the ground

Integrated Farming convinces with positive results. Data from the UK on songbird abundance and wheat yields, successful approaches in France to enhance biodiversity on farms, and results from research projects in Germany reveal the vast “GreenUp potential” of Integrated Farming. The further development of sustainable production systems in agriculture, with less dependency on fossil fuels and markedly higher resource use efficiency, will continue to be a top priority. The adoption of Integrated Farming is a key part of making this future happen. 

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