Southern Cuckoo Bee (Bombus vestalis) 010721

The scheme, which is run by the RSPB, is the only certification scheme with a focus on biodiversity and reversing nature loss

The Fair to Nature food and farming certification scheme has been relaunched and expanded in a bid to tackle biodiversity loss in the UK.

The standard, which is run by the RSPB, is the only UK certification scheme with a focus on biodiversity and reversing nature loss.

It had previously only been open to arable farmers, but has now been expanded to include dairy, livestock, horticulture and viticulture.

The relaunch has been supported by a campaign to encourage as many food producers to adopt the certification in the run-up to COP15, the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity, which takes place in December.

“This is a vital step in helping reverse the terrifying loss of biodiversity that is taking place,” said Mark Varney, head of Fair to Nature. “Over recent years in the UK we’ve seen the disappearance of half of our native farmland wildlife and witnessed the ecosystems we all depend on for our food come under threat. Put simply, without nature there is no food.”

In the standard, farmers must make at least 10% of their farmed land, including areas difficult to farm productively, available to a range of high-quality nature habitats. They must also manage soils and inputs more sustainably to better support and work alongside nature.

The certification has already achieved strong results, with one farm increasing breeding birds by 226%, farmland butterflies by 213%, almost doubling floral diversity and having up to 19 times as many bees as typical farms.

Varney added that the scheme was seeing ethical consumerism rise, He said he hoped that the certification would be “easy to recognise, connect with and understand” for consumers to make more nature-friendly choices.

Food brands and supermarkets who support Fair to Nature agree to buy from certified farms and can display the Fair to Nature logo on the packaging of certified products.

The revised standard was made in partnership with seven other leading wildlife charities and is proven to reverse wildlife declines and deliver high standards of biodiversity.