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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


10 June 2020 – The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has played a role in developing an assessment tool to enable farmers to monitor and manage the soil health of their farms.

Whilst healthy soil is essential to food production, the world’s topsoil had become so degraded that it may only be able to support another 60 harvests. A collaboration between CISL’s Business and Nature team, ASDA and experts at NIAB, has been working to support farmers in their stewardship of soil resources. The result is the ASDA Soil health assessment guide that farmers can use to better manage the soils on their farms. The tool has now been piloted by ASDA's salad farmers, allowing them to monitor their soil health and identify ways to improve it.

The tool’s handbook explains the importance of good soil management and outlines how farmers can measure soil properties including texture, structure and chemical/ biological content. Farmers can then input their soil measurements and details of their farming practices into the tool which will assess their soil health across physical, chemical and biological characteristics. The tool then identifies practical steps they can take to improve their soil health to maximise crop production whilst enabling a sustainable future.

John Pharoah, Senior Project Manager in the Business and Nature team at CISL, said:

“Farmers understand the importance of good soil health for their crop productivity but they also recognise it is under threat. This tool could help farmers to measure and manage the health of their soil to protect this essential resource for future generations.”

Through its Business and Nature team, CISL collaborates with companies to identify what the ecological crisis means for their businesses and take steps to transform their operations and strategies. We provide the structured path that businesses need to establish sustainability solutions and create momentum at scale. to learn more and work with us.

Access the ASDA Soil health assessment guide here.

Learn more about CISL's Business and Nature team.