NatWest Group and WWF announce strategic partnership for UK food and agriculture

NatWest, the UK’s number one commercial bank, and WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation, have announced a new strategic partnership to support a sustainable transition for the UK food and agricultural sectors. 

Together, NatWest and WWF will work to bring together players across the food and agriculture sectors in the UK to channel and scale private and public finance to support farmers to achieve climate and nature goals, including calling on government to reform agricultural payments.  The strategic partners will also collaborate to provide guidance advice and tools to help deliver transition plans in the UK food and agriculture sectors.  


With farmland covering 70% of the UK*, and agriculture accounting for 11% of UK climate emissions and likely to rise further**, agriculture is a crucial player in tackling the climate and nature crises. It is a sector which needs immediate funding, support and guidance to adopt climate and nature friendly practices to become economically and environmentally resilient for the future. 

*Agricultural land use UK 

**Agri-climate report 2022 


The strategic partnership follows a new report published in May by NatWest which found that 82% of farmers want to embrace the climate and nature challenges and transition their growth, but they need support to do this. That’s why NatWest has committed to lending almost £7billion to UK agriculture.


WWF’s vision for UK farming, set out in its Land of Plenty report, is for a net-zero world bursting with life, where the connections between the food people eat and how it has been produced are re-established, where growers and producers get a fairer share of the market, where nature thrives within and outside farmland and where shifts in diets support high quality food from circular, regenerative systems.  


Alison Rose DBE, Chief Executive, NatWest Group said:

“The UK agriculture sector is at a turning point - facing higher costs, declining domestic production and supply chain issues, whilst also trying to reduce their climate emissions.

The industry needs collective action for a sustainable and secure future.  So we’re delighted to be partnering with WWF to mobilise public and private investment into climate and nature friendly farming, ensuring that our farmers are properly supported throughout.

NatWest has committed nearly £7billion of total funding to Agriculture to date, and we will continue standing side by side with farmers to give them the support they need to invest in their transition.”


Tanya Steele CBE, CEO, WWF said:

“With UK nature in freefall, there is no true food security without tackling climate change and protecting and restoring the natural world which underpins our farming system. Our shared vision is for a flourishing farming sector that is equipped to  achieve a net-zero future bursting with life, where growers and producers get a fairer share of the market and are supported with sustainable, long-term financing.

“Farmers are eager to embrace a new world of lower emissions and nature restoration, not least because it is in the long-term interests of their sector. But they need support and certainty to make it a reality. WWF and NatWest understand that productivity and sustainability can go hand in hand, and that more and more customers and consumers expect it.”


The announcement follows an industry roundtable co-hosted by NatWest and WWF at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh last week, one of the largest celebrations of farming, food and rural life in the UK. The roundtable brought large businesses in the Scottish agricultural sector together with policymakers and industry groups, following a similar workshop in London in April.  


Notes to editors

-          ‘NatWest, the UK’s number 1 Commercial Bank’ is based on NatWest Group having the highest main-bank market share (28.7%) and the highest net-promoter score for businesses with a turnover over £2m as measured by MarketVue Business Banking from Savanta at Q4 2022

-          ‘Nearly £7billion of total funding to Agriculture to date’ is based on NatWest Group’s total exposure to the Agriculture sector for all types of lending as of June 2023”



About NatWest Group

At NatWest Group (NWG) we are guided by our purpose. To demonstrate our ambition to help address climate challenge, NWG became the first UK bank to have its sectoral targets for 2030 (including for agriculture) validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi). NWG is a leading lender to UK business, with c. 40,000 agriculture customers that represent about 30% of borrowers in the UK agriculture sector. Agriculture is a significant sector of our financed emissions – and thus a priority if we are to achieve our science-based targets.***


***NatWest Group 2022 Annual Report and Accounts 



About WWF   
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a global environmental charity, and we’re bringing our world back to life. With nature in freefall, we’re urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline – especially the food system and climate change. And we’re finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife. It’s a huge challenge, but there is hope. We’re working globally with governments, companies, communities and others who have the will to act and the power to transform our world. We’re using our ground-breaking scientific research, our global influence, and the backing of our many supporters to make sure the natural world’s vital signs are recovering by 2030.


WWF. Bringing our world back to life.


Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk



For more information or to request interviews please contact Mike Johnston at NatWest press office, 07584 403860, mike.johnston@natwest.com



This is for media use and not a financial promotion.

Information about business loans, and overdrafts:

The £7bn lending package will be deployed through a variety of routes, including Green Loans, conventional loans, asset finance and increased overdrafts.

Finance is subject to status. Security may be required. Product fees may apply.

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