From Food to Fork: Supporting A Just Transition

The Food & Footprint service team at SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has been expanded to offer more support and information to farmers and food producers.

Dr Lorna Cole is a Senior Ecology Consultant who has recently joined SAC Consulting and will be delivering Natural Capital Assessments, Biodiversity Audits, validation of peatland restoration and providing guidance on enhancing both carbon storage and biodiversity. She said: 

Farming faces unprecedented challenges: to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to restore biodiversity while continuing to remain economically viable. Rising fertiliser costs, variable markets and unpredictable weather patterns all add to the pressures faced by farmers. “

The service provides the following support and advice:

  • life cycle analysis, environmental impact assessment, and carbon management plans
  • soil testing and drone mapping
  • forest design and peatland restoration plans
  • biodiversity analysis and advice
  • circular economy and waste valorisation advice, including sustainable packaging
  • employee engagement with net zero
  • green finance and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), such as carbon credits and supply chain initiatives
  • new food and drink product development
  • sustainability focussed branding and marketing

Andrew Bauer, who heads the team explained:

“Becoming a more sustainable food and drink producer, processor or retailer can be a complicated journey. It is vital that credible, research-backed advice is given in an integrated way that delivers environmentally, economically and socially. SAC Consulting has a track record of doing just that.

“Our work across Scotland, the UK and internationally, is diverse. We advise estates on everything from carbon footprinting, peatland restoration and ecology to new forest planting, carbon markets and diversification.

“For food and drink SMEs, we advise on areas such as carbon management, new product development, life cycle analysis and marketing, amongst other things. We work with public sector clients on areas such as natural capital accounting, carbon footprinting and sustainable packaging.

“For corporate clients, we work on everything from carbon management to wider supply chain sustainability, with clients ranging from innovative seaweed farming business KelpCrofting, to South of Scotland Enterprise and Marks & Spencer.”

One of the services is a farm carbon calculator, Agrecalc, It can quantify and improve the emissions of the food and drink supply chain from field to fork.

Consultant Brady Stevens added:

My colleagues and I are striving to ensure a just transition – the idea that nobody should be left behind as we leap to a greener economy.

“SAC Consulting is challenging itself to examine its new and existing work to ensure that it accounts for the many things we value, not just the ecosystem services we need to live, but also the parts of the natural world that enrich those lives.

“Listening to different perspectives allows us to create the solutions which work for the greatest number and are therefore the longest lasting.”