Action area 3: Genetic diversity

Genetic diversity in northern seeds and breeds has increased

Our collaborative review process revealed that there are opportunities within the wider farming community to explore how to transition to using different breeds and seeds from, or well suited to, the changing North of England climate. There is also a need to build an economic system that better supports farmers and procurers to understand the value and characteristics of native breeds of livestock and heritage varieties so that they can be valued alongside the larger, faster growing mainstream breeds and varieties.

To address these challenges, our strategy outlines the following steps:

Our goal: Genetic diversity in production has increased. This includes more open pollinated and heritage varieties as well as more (native) breeds of livestock.

Desired outcomes:

  • Northern processing capacity is expanded and professionalised. 

Example activities that were identified as supporting these immediate outcomes – and which should therefore be urgent priorities for funding – are as follows:

  • Supporting the setup of more training opportunities by, for example, coordinating the offerings of members of the consortium.
  • Offering training and support for collaborative grant funding and crowdfunding.
  • Attracting large scale investment into agroecological farming in the North of England by, for example, setting up rural agroecological bonds (like city bonds).
  • Facilitating value chain collaborations within pulses, grains, and meat sectors.