Based on the Ten Years For Agroecology (TYFA) scenario for the EU, this report provides a more detailed analysis of the UK food system under an agroecological future. Using a newly adapted modelling platform (TYFAregio), which combines assumptions about both the supply (agroecological production) and the demand sides (sustainable diets), it evaluates the biophysical and ecological impacts of an expansion of agroecology in the EU.

Key Messages

  • The adoption of agroecological practices would deliver strong and positive biodiversity outcomes due to the absence of synthetic inputs use, the higher share of truly semi-natural vegetation in all agrarian regions and the presence of green and ecological infrastructure (ponds, hedges, meadows, etc.), while it would reduce crop yields by 17% to 25% across UK agricultural regions.
  • Closing nutrient cycles at the regional level would lead to a relative despecialisation of UK regions in terms of the balance between arable and permanent grassland.
  • The primary diet change required under this scenario is the halving of consumption of animal products, thus freeing up land to produce plants for direct human consumption. Under this assumption, 7% of utilised agricultural area (UAA) could be used for purposes other than domestic production.
  • The GHG emissions reduction could reach -38% compared with today (with potential to offset 60% or more of remaining emissions through an afforestation scenario). The main source of these reductions comes from decreases in nitrogen related emissions.
  • While today the UK is a net importer of all major foodstuffs except for milk, the application of TYFA assumptions allows the UK to stop imported deforestation and improve its physical trade balance for the main food commodities.
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