BASF Industry Visit: Farming for the future | IPT

At the Industry and Parliament Trust, we provide a non-lobbying, non-partisan educational platform for parliamentarians to explore the most pertinent topics of the day. One major issue facing both industry and parliament is climate change: especially the changes we need to make today to ensure a sustainable tomorrow. This was the crux of our visit on the 13 June 2019 to BASF, where parliamentarians were able to learn about their work on sustainable farming.

A cross-party delegation consisting of Patrick Grady MP, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Pauline Latham MP, Angus MacNeil MP, Bridget Phillipson MP and Lord Young of Norwood Green took the train to Wellingborough where BASF farm, The Grange, is situated.

Despite the weather not being ideal, our delegation’s spirits were not dampened as they met with some of the farm owners, Andrew and William Pit, who have been dedicated farmers their entire lives. Parliamentarians learned about how they have worked with BASF to adopt innovative solutions for farming, pest control and landscape management in their efforts to contribute towards a better environment.

At The Grange, along with BASF sister site, Rawcliffe Bridge, the goal is to produce high quality and profitable crops alongside increasing biodiversity. The site visit exhibited to the MPs and Peers what is possible when sustainability and biodiversity is at the core of quality and profitable crop production.

Pauline Latham MP, along with Patrick Grady MP, sits on the APPG for agriculture and food development, commented that the visit was “Great to see such conservation minded farmers who care passionately about their environment which affects us all”.

The visit was also relevant to the parliamentary work of others in our delegation. This includes Baroness Jones who is both the vice chair for the science and technology in agriculture APPG and a member of the Lords Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. She also sits on the APPG for food waste alongside Lord Young who said he found the visit “fascinating and enlightening” and was pleased to see a farm where the owners are “working collaboratively with BASF and an agronomist [to] demonstrate that you can farm sustainably, massively increasing the bird and insect/pollinator population”.

Reflecting on the visit and the topics at hand Bridget Phillipson MP, who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said “visiting the Grange with BASF was a unique opportunity to learn more about sustainable agricultural practices” and that it provided great insight to the technologies that are being used as we are “we are facing increasing pressure to balance food security with the protection of biodiversity” and that “This visit was an enjoyable way of learning about how this challenge can be met.”