2024-2027: Generating and utilising data on environmental outcomes in UK food systems

As society seeks to transition to more sustainable food production systems, there has been an increasing demand for evidence on the delivery of environmental outcomes associated with production systems. This can include data on emissions of greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration; biodiversity and wildlife species populations; nutrient pollution (ammonia, nitrate, phosphorus); resource consumption and efficiency, etc. The demand for data can stem from many sources including payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes; trading schemes for carbon, nutrients and biodiversity benefits; environmental data for corporate and/or supply chain reporting; and data to meet consumer demands for information or to promote products with green claims for marketing and/or ecolabels. To date, many farm and food assurance schemes have tended to be practice-based, with limited primary data collected on environmental outcomes; and many product ecolabels tend to be based on secondary/generic data. Thus, there is a gap between data being demanded and what is currently supplied. AERU are collaborating with TLR-Everysite Ltd to tackle this issue and identify (i) the feasibility of collating more primary data on verifiable environmental outcomes on farms; and (ii) potential IT solutions for better utilisation of the primary data that is available to meet the needs of both data suppliers (farmers) and potential data consumers (i.e. retailers, PES and trading schemes, government reporting, and ecolabelling).


Dr. John Tzilvakis and Dr. Jemma Taylor


University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2024.