Dr Rolleston says that a bottom-up approach to the issues will yield the best results, in other words: working catchment by catchment, engaging farmers and getting them to work together to solve major issues. The issue at the moment, he feels, is getting the new Labour Government on board with this strategy.
“Social license is a really technical term and I think talking about ‘social license’ is unhelpful to the target audience. The term is sort of ‘industry speak’; we know what we mean by it, but I don’t think it resonates with the public and I think by using it as a term publicly you give off the wrong impression- that being that it can be given and taken away.”
“I think the media played a big part in creating this idea of a divide, and have exaggerated it beyond reality. The reality is that most people are actually really willing to sit around a table and carry out these discussions around the effects of agricultural projects in a reasoned, democratic manner.”