Sustainable Intensification: the future of farming in Europe?

Sustainable intensification is the buzzword of the moment for UK and EU farming policy. But in light of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms due early 2014, does sustainable intensification represent an impossible paradox? Or does it represent a viable future for Europe's farming industry?


  1. This event was part of the Royal Society PolicyLab meeting series, which aims to bring together scientists, policymakers, industry experts and other stakeholders to discuss a topic with current policy relevance. This event was held on Thursday 9 May. The following is a summary of the twitter activity from the evening on the #RSfarming event hashtag,
  2. The pre-event excitement builds.
  3. And we're off... The Royal Society's 'Reaping the Benefits' got a few early quotes with both the chair Dr Matt Reed and David Baulcombe FRS using this definition of sustainable intensification.
  4. Each speaker had 5 minutes to give their opinions and background on the subject, David Baulcome FRS was first, and immediately stressed the important role of technology and science in the future of farming
  5. Then onto Professor Janet Dwyer, who did an excellent job at describing the role of CAP in UK and EU policy. And also opts for a slightly different definition of 'sustainable intensification'.
  6. Dr Les Firbank then offered some farmer perspective and presented some his extensive 'sustainable intensification' research database...
  7. Then onto some government perspective from Defra's Martin Nesbit, director of EU and International affairs.