Farmers Guardian
News

Over The Farm Gate

Over The Farm Gate


This Is Agriculture - Sponsored

This Is Agriculture - Sponsored


DataHub

DataHub

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

CropTec

CropTec

LAMMA 2021

LAMMA 2021

From the editor: Will standards resonate if deep recession hits consumers?

In times of crisis and disruption, it turns out the British public does not turn towards falafel or hummus as comfort food, but rather red meat and pizza to get it through lockdown.

The astonishing statistics included in this week’s study of shifting food trends since the pandemic struck, shows that consumers still cherish many staple products such as beef, bacon, cheese and milk.

 

Yet the same piece also highlights the hardship many people are facing, with the appalling statistic that 7.7 million people have missed meals or reduced their food intake due to money worries.

 

This is a morbid precursor to some of the social challenges which could yet arise amid the ‘new normal’.

 

As the economy starts to see an increased flurry of redundancies, the potential scale of the forthcoming post-Covid-19 recession will shape the fortunes of the country for decades to come.


Read More

Virus has brought appreciation of UK farmers’ high standards - Jimmy DohertyVirus has brought appreciation of UK farmers’ high standards - Jimmy Doherty
Beef producers can capitalise on growing retail demandBeef producers can capitalise on growing retail demand
Liz Truss announces Government will set up Trade and Agriculture CommissionLiz Truss announces Government will set up Trade and Agriculture Commission
Waitrose vows ‘never’ to sell any food which does not meet UK’s high standardsWaitrose vows ‘never’ to sell any food which does not meet UK’s high standards
Meat plant latest to suspend production in string of closures due to Covid-19Meat plant latest to suspend production in string of closures due to Covid-19

Many will debate whether the lockdown measures have been worth the economic cost, but the implications for consumer demand, and therefore what UK farming produces, will be challenging in the coming years.

 

While the unions and others are right to fight for our world leading standards, we must still retain the flexibility as an industry to produce food at multiple price points which meet the needs of all consumers.

 

It is encouraging and commendable that Waitrose has sought to back British standards, but your average Waitrose shopper is probably not fretting over job security or how to keep their family fed. They can choose to be picky. Many cannot.

 

And it is that balance which will form a tightrope to walk as the economic impact of coronavirus starts to unfold.

 

It also shows the threat posed by cheap imports and the fact that if large swathes of the population are struggling financially, are they going to be concerned where their food comes from?

 

Coronavirus could reshape how society operates and the challenge for agriculture will be to mitigate the risks, while also being fleet of foot enough to exploit the opportunities.

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS