The Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA) was launched at Westminster in 2017 to address the current crisis in our soils. Our aim is for soils to be sustainably managed within one generation, by galvanising the communities of scientists, innovators, policy-makers and land managers already active in this area, harnessing their activities and providing them with a sense of common purpose.
Since our inception the SSA’s impact has been considerable. Our three Parliamentary events have placed soil on the political map and drawn clear commitments from Ministers Gove (then Defra) and Eustice, then SoS Greg Clark and then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Elizabeth Truss. The inclusion of soil in the 2020 Agriculture Bill was a testament to this approach, and the dedication and expertise of our community.
We have received the formal, public backing of the leading UK environmental campaigning organisations and the trust of the food supply chain – growers and supermarkets.
We have become a regular source of advice and input for Defra, co-hosting workshops including on the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Soil Health Inquiry, delivering supportive recommendations on soil monitoring criteria and participating in the first meeting to establish their Lowland Agricultural Peat Taskforce.
Above all we have created an inclusive soil community and an authoritative focal point for scientific and political debate around soils to drive and inform government policy.