Join Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs, and Head of News and Business Olivia Midgley, for weekly thought-provoking and lighthearted debate around the key issues affecting farming, food and the countryside right now.
In drawing together the disparate strands of social inequality, diet-related ill-health and the farming systems that underpin the food system, Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy is a vast and challenging piece of work.
At a time when there is huge demand for sustainable, natural materials, it seems counter-intuitive that one of the most traditional and long established of natural fibres, wool, finds its price languishing and farmers composting or burning fleeces after shearing.
The Agriculture Bill returning to Parliament this week is an important step in the UK’s departure from the EU, setting out the route to a new, more tailored system of agricultural support, as well as providing the basis for UK farmers to embrace the latest technology.
It is not always advisable to look to the United States for answers. Once a bastion of liberal democracy, it has become increasingly divided and politically erratic under the tenure of current president Donald Trump.
The last three weeks have seen a marked shift in how and where we buy our food. It is a pattern that will remain while we are in lockdown and I suspect there will be a few habits or behaviours that persist for the longer term.
In theory, it should be fairly easy to farm while staying two metres away from every other human being. Open fields and solitary tractor cabs mean arable farming is fairly self-isolating at the best of times. There are clearly fewer face-to-face meetings than, say, being Prime Minister.