A REA blog by Jenny Grant, Head of Organics and Natural Capital at the REA

Today is World Soil Day with the theme ‘Soil, where food begins’.

It seems like we have a day for everything now, but this is one I think is particularly important. This quote below sums it up: we are so reliant on soil. 95% of global food production relies on soils, it provides an environment for plants to grow, stores nutrients along with providing ecosystems and storing carbon. Soils holds more than three times the amount of carbon as the atmosphere and UK soils contain about 10 billion tonnes of carbon, roughly equal to 80 years of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Soil can take many thousands of years to form but can be destroyed very quickly.

The organics industry plays a vital role in helping to protect soils by producing valuable products that can improve soil quality, increase soil organic matter and soil carbon and enable the production of food for years to come.

Compost is an  excellent soil conditioner and a source of organic matter with multiple benefits, such as:

  • improving the soil structure and function
  • reducing erosion and increasing water holding capacity
  • providing major plant nutrients
  • increasing soil biological activity and helping suppress plant diseases.
  • Increasing soil organic carbon

In addition, studies have shown that application of compost helps grow more nutritious, nutrient-dense crops. Lots of benefits that are especially important with our current climate challenges and targets.

So, this World Soil Day, show your soil a little love and add some compost!