Do you have what it takes to be the Sustainability Innovator of the Year?

New for this year’s British Farming Awards is the introduction of our Sustainability Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of an increasingly vital area within farming.

Sustainable agricultural practices are intended to protect nature, expand the environment’s natural resource base and maintain and improve soil fertility.

With an industry ambition for agricultural production to reach net zero emissions by 2040, every farmer will need to contribute in some way, albeit to varying  degrees.

Some are just starting to make changes, but others are much further down the journey and place strong emphasis on running holistic farm management  practices and reducing their carbon footprint.

Fergal McAdam, general manager of Alltech, the Sustainability Innovator of the Year category sponsor, says: “Farmers have the greatest potential to shape the
future of our planet.

“There is no one silver bullet to solving the biggest challenge that faces everybody today – sustaining the planet and all things living on it.

Holistic mindset

“Agri-food sustainability depends on farmers embracing science, innovation and entrepreneurship. Farmers with a holistic mindset work collaboratively, operating systems which are driving efficiency and minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.”

Such is the scale and variety within sustainable farming, it can often feel overwhelming to understand all the different areas farmers can make a difference.

Here, we take a look at five key elements of sustainable farming and the subsequent ways farmers can take action to become central in achieving the country’s net zero ambition.


  • CROPS: Utilising innovative management and technologies to maximise yield, enhance nitrogen utilisation and improve crop quality and health
  • CHEMICALS: Efficient utilisation and/or reduction of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, or the use of novel alternatives
  • FEED: Focusing on the sourcing of sustainable feed ingredients or innovative management techniques to reduce wastage and improve digestion efficiency
  • UPCYCLING: Utilising, creating and developing reusable resources


  • WATER QUALITY: the quality of nearby water sources via innovative management and resource application to reduce leaching, biological contaminants
    and soil erosion
  • AIR QUALITY: Using technology and management to reduce emissions of methane, carbon, nitrous oxide and ammonia to improve air quality and environmental impact
  • SOIL QUALITY: Reducing compaction and improving soil biome and organic matter via innovative management and technology
  • BIODIVERSITY: Using novel methods of enhancing local wildlife, trees and shrubs
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY: Utilisation of renewable energies, such as solar, anaerobic digestion and wind turbines to reduce environmental impact and maximise existing resources


  • NATURAL IMMUNITY: Using technologies and management practices to build systems of defence, higher levels of vigour and greater reproductive performance
  • WELFARE AND WELLNESS: Improving animal comfort, health and emotional wellbeing via innovative management and solutions
  • PRECISION TECHNOLOGY: Embracing precision technologies, such as on-farm robotics, artificial inseminationled technologies and precision resource application
  • FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY: Enhancing food safety and quality, such as traceability and disease control via novel methods


  • PRODUCTION PROFITABILITY: Building a future-proofed business which is financially resilient to pressures and adaptable to change
  • SUCCESSION PLANNING: Planning to enable a new generation to take on roles and responsibilities at the right time in the right way
  • PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION: Investing time and resources into other potential revenue streams; this can be natural capital, as well as genetics or other agricultural goods


  • ONLINE ENGAGEMENT: Interacting with consumers and industry online to drive awareness, understanding and appreciation of sustainable agriculture
  • EVENTS: Hosting innovative and novel farm events, such as farm tours, pick-your-own or education days
  • SCHOOL VISITS: Working with local schools and education centres to share information and provide experiences
  • WELFARE AND WELLNESS: Promoting and enhancing improved mental health and emotional wellbeing in agriculture

A word from the sponsor

More than 40 years ago, an entrepreneur started a journey. Founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr Pearse Lyons, Alltech delivers smarter, more
sustainable solutions for agriculture.

Our products improve the health and performance of plants and animals, resulting in better nutrition for consumers and a decreased environmental impact.

We are a global leader in the animal health industry, producing additives, pre-mix, supplements and feed.

Celebrating 40 years in 2020, we carry forward a legacy of innovation and a unique culture which views challenges through an entrepreneurial lens.

Today, our purpose is to share the sustainable power of science in agri-food.

We are working toward a Planet of Plenty™. A planet where science-based solutions help ensure sustainable food production for the global population.

A planet where agriculture’s story is central to the development of thriving communities and ecosystems, where, through collaboration and innovation, we can create a world of abundance for future generations.

We do this by working together with feed, farm and food businesses to advance #NaturalImmunity, #ProductionProfitability and #AgriFoodSustainability  through science, innovation and naturalbased nutritional technologies.

We combine leading technologies with specialist advice to drive on-farm efficiency.

Backed by extensive research and supported by analytical support services, our range of solutions are designed to help producers optimise health, efficiency and performance via performance proteins, mitigating mycotoxins, supporting gut health, optimising rumen function and maximising mineral performance.

For more information or to contact us, visit, or call 01780 764 512.