In rare fine weather on 16th May the Allerton Project was excited to host forty delegates to a workshop as part of our Climate Neutral Farms (ClieNFarms) project, a €13.6m, 14-country initiative under the EU Horizon umbrella to drive innovation in the decarbonisation of agriculture across the continent.

The Allerton Project is working alongside Nestlé UK to assess means of reducing the carbon footprint of wheat production in Nestlé’s supply chain in the East of England. As part of this, we have brought together twelve forward-thinking arable farmers from across the region to drive innovation literally ‘in the field’.

The ‘Creative Arena’ event on 16th May brought together not only farmers, but also those from across the wider supply chain such as agronomists, processors, academics and those from the high-tech sector to discuss how positive change might most easily and effectively be achieved. Afterall, to achieve our industry’s net zero goals will require collaboration from across the piece. Topics ranging from improved soil health to nutrient use efficiency, incorporation of livestock to polycropping systems were all debated and ranked in terms of impact and ease of implementation.

Over the following two days, the ClieNFarm farmers took the opportunity to visit the Boughton Estate in Northants to see the work being implemented there to incorporate livestock into the arable rotation and boost biodiversity under the guidance of Oakbank Seeds, before moving on to the nearby Courteenhall Estate where we were joined by Ian Robertson of Sustainable Soil Management for a literal in-depth discussion of soil health and productivity, including 4-foot deep soil pits on a range of soil types and advanced soil testing.

This is a major and vital project which will continue until 2025 as our lead farmers develop and showcase a range of different climate mitigation techniques as part of agriculture’s quest to produce carbon negative, sustainable food.

Interested in finding out more about ClieNFarms or becoming part of the farm network? Contact