Farm Network, a BASF partnership
Productive agriculture needs a healthy environment. In parallel, a growing world population with evolving expectations needs farmers to produce more food. How can farmers balance all these demands and increase production sustainably? The BASF Farm Network delivers practical solutions to help them meet the future head on.
Sustainable farming has to be more than just a theory on paper; to come to life, it needs expertise, practical examples, and a space for farmers to exchange experiences. As part of the BASF Farm Network, BASF work with independent farmers, organizations for environmental protection, universities, research institutes, and companies providing farming innovations. While each of us brings different expertise to the table, we share a common passion, united in our commitment to increase sustainable farming.
While it is true that farmers face similar challenges worldwide, a one size fits all approach does not work. Some solutions have to be tailored to meet local conditions, like climate and soil. That is precisely why BASF partners with local experts, who understand the issues on the ground. Our remit is clear - we want to make it easy for farmers to implement sustainable measures on the farm, increase their profits and yields while protecting and conserving biodiversity, water, soil and other precious resources.
Every farm is different in terms of size, the local area, farming conditions, and crop diversity. Countries also have their own national priorities when it comes to sustainable farming, for example, there may be specific concerns about protected species, soil conditions, and access to water. With the Farm Network, we work locally – on the farm – to develop real-life measures that are relevant and meaningful to farmers in the area. In this way, we bring sustainability to life on both the local farm and on the global stage.
A farmer can test a sustainable practice in part of his farm before assessing whether it is viable to extend it to a larger area.
Everyone is welcome to visit our Farm Network and witness first-hand the positive impact of sustainable agricultural practices. Each farm demonstrates in a practical way how modern farming systems can deliver high yields while protecting biodiversity and natural resources.
Independent experts evaluate the progress of each farm in the Farm Network. Data tracked includes the number of birds, pollinators, and other beneficial insects living on the farm. Water management measures and sustainable soil treatments are also carefully monitored.
The Farm Network traces its roots to the UK where the first farm – Rawcliffe Bridge – was established in 2002. Since then, the program has evolved and expanded all over Europe. Today, the Farm Network includes many farms and a rich network of more than 30 partner organizations in eight countries.
Our long-term goal is to see these successful measures and techniques embraced by new farms outside the existing network. In fact, this is already happening on the ground. For example, in France, lessons learnt are being shared with a wider network of 56 voluntary farmers, part of the BiodiversID network, led by Forum des Agriculteurs Responsables Respectueux de l’Environnement (FARRE), Bees Biodiversity Network (BBN), and BASF.
“I’m a business man. I only spend money if I need to and if I get a benefit from doing so. So we balance the best practices of both worlds, looking after soil, looking after crops, making certain we produce very high standard food, year in, year out.”
Andrew Pitts, Farmer The Grange, UK, part of the Farm Network