IFAJ and sustainability


James Campbell
IFAJ Treasurer

During my 30 years as an agricultural journalist, I’ve seen the emphasis shift in various ways. An example is the increasing recognition of the importance of biodiversity. Farmers are being urged to produce in ways that help to sustain the natural environment. We saw many examples of this at the IFAJ congress in Sweden last year.

With the changes, particular words gain new prominence in the vocabulary of agricultural journalists. Examples are ‘sustainability’ and ‘ecosystem services’. Sustainability was one of the aspects of the work of British American Tobacco (BAT) to which the attention of the IFAJ sponsorship committee was drawn, when we were first introduced to BAT by our colleagues from Argentina.

BAT sources its supplies from around 200,000 directly contracted farmers. They have long experience of providing extension services to the tobacco growers. Some of their work with these farmers is in conjunction with conservation organizations such as ‘Earthwatch’ and ‘Fauna and Flora International’.

All forms of agriculture can affect biodiversity. It was news to me that other forms of agriculture could learn from BAT when it comes to sustainability and ecosystem services. You can find out more about the BAT commitment to biodiversity and conservation at –  
www.bat.com/leaf and 

The sustainability of IFAJ outreach work and the increased opportunities that we have made available to agricultural journalists in recent years depend on support from sponsors. 
If you wish to introduce a sponsor to IFAJ, I ask that you contact any member of the presidium or the co-chair of the finance and sponsorship committee, Steve Werblow. We are keen to hear from any national Guild representatives who may be able to assist. You can contact us by email   secretary(at)www.ifaj.org  or directly using the contact details in the website www.www.ifaj.org