UK FARMERS are fed up with their portrayal as enemies of the environment, particularly when locally-produced grass-fed lamb or beef can legitimately be described as a truly 'green' source of protein.

A new survey of the industry has found that the country's farmers are unanimously agreed about the need to protect the environment, and the majority are already striving to make their businesses more environmentally friendly – but at the same time, almost all feel they are being unfairly vilified by the mainstream media, which habitually associates them with less responsible farming practices overseas.

Highlighting these results, SellMyLivestock commercial director Andrew Loftus noted: “Our farming is far more environmentally friendly. UK livestock emits 2.5 times less greenhouse gases than the global average.

“The facts tell the real story. Two-thirds (65%) of the UK’s land is only suitable for livestock – it is either too wet, too rocky, or too high to grow crops. And because people can’t eat grass, the only way our land can contribute to feeding UK households is through livestock farming.

"For example, some claim it takes 17,657 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef, but in the UK, 85% of this comes from the rainfall that falls naturally on our grassland.

“British farming, particularly livestock, is seen as an easy target; there are no big corporations with huge PR budgets to spend defending it, just thousands of small family farms," said Mr Loftus. "It is frankly a cheap shot for virtue signalling organisations eager to appease a ‘woke’ generation of misled consumers. Was it just a coincidence, for example, that Cambridge University forcibly removed beef and lamb from its menus due to ‘environmental concerns’, while at the same time gratefully accepting a £6m donation from Shell?

“In the UK our farmers don’t cut down rainforests, we plant thousands of trees; we don’t destroy biodiversity, we protect and maintain it; we don’t abuse water sources, we carefully manage our water resources. Put simply we don’t hate the environment, we cherish it and rely on it.”

The Hectare survey also found that over 70% of UK farmers had reduced their use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers, while more than 60% had recently planted woodland and/or hedgerows.

Mr Loftus continued: “Clearly it’s time we broke the myth that UK farmers don’t care about the environment. At the same time, more consumers need to be aware of their choices, particularly when it comes to imported food. For example, substituting Mexican avocados for British beef can actually result in greater environmental costs.

“If consumers want to be greener, and want to make the right environmental choice, then they should buy local. And you can’t get much local than UK-produced, grass-fed lamb or beef. It’s one of the greenest meats in the world.”