Visit the UK’s leading indoor agricultural event, with eleven packed halls of the very latest in agricultural machinery and equipment. Now at the NEC, Birmingham this is free to attend and free to park.
I have tried to be optimistic about post-Brexit opportunities to move away from the EU’s hazard-based approach to crop regulation, but banning actives sends the wrong signals, says Adam Speed, head of communications at the CPA.
Until now, pig farmers in the USA and Canada have had very little access to the EU market because of tariffs, but the UK’s no-deal schedule could change this, says National Pig Association senior policy advisor Ed Barker.
Farmers outside the Westminster bubble are staying sane by focusing on finding solutions to problems which transcend Brexit, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and supply chain fairness, says Sue Pritchard, director of the RSA FFC.
Defra’s post-Brexit Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) has lots of positives, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to make sure it’s the best it can be, says Vicki Hird, head of farming at Sustain.
Moving towards a net zero emissions target is a necessity for agriculture post-Brexit, but getting there can deliver a series of benefits for farmers, says Tom Lancaster, principal policy officer for agriculture at the RSPB.
Five per cent of the English agriculture budget should be spent on supporting farmers to maximise resilience and restructure after Brexit, says Julia Aglionby, Foundation for Common Land executive director.
The 20th century food revolution was successful in feeding people, but a failure in terms of environmental impact. If farming is to rediscover its full purpose after Brexit, it must face up to the problems of large-scale meat production, says Professor Tim Lang, co-author of the EAT-Lancet Commission report.
While our politicians busy themselves with back-stabbing, double-dealing and treachery, the next generation of UK farmers are preparing to create a new and more prosperous farming sector, says Farmers For Action chairman David Handley.
Businesses understand a no-deal Brexit would mean inevitable food shortages, but it would also provide an opportunity to engage customers with the concepts of food miles, seasonality and provenance, says Shane Brennan, chief executive at the FSDF.
Drama in Westminster is likely to hold up the progress of the Ag Bill as Ministers seek to ensure it is not used to inflict damage on the Prime Minister, says Tom Bartosak-Harlow, director of external affairs at the CLA.
Not all abattoir vets have the right knowledge and experience. Brexit gives us a chance to improve the controls, says Norman Bagley, head of policy at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).
Too often, Government tries to change farmer behaviour instead of its own badly-designed policies. The development of post-Brexit policy must not follow this pattern, says Dr David Christian Rose, lecturer in Geography at the University of East Anglia.
If the UK wants to export food after Brexit, it cannot adopt a set of rules not shared by its trading partners. It’s time to choose whose rules to take – the EU’s, the USA’s or the WTO’s, says Erik Millstone, Emeritus Professor at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex.
The publishing of the Agriculture Bill was a seminal moment for the future of the countryside, but big questions on future budgets and trade arrangements remain unanswered, says Tim Breitmeyer, CLA president.
The livestock trade does not recognise Hadrian’s Wall or Offa’s Dyke as borders, so making sure new devolved policies do not hamper the movement of animals in the UK must be a priority, says Chris Dodds, Livestock Auctioneers’ Association executive secretary.
The Government’s Agriculture Bill must continue to help farmers manage volatility as the UK leaves the EU. Anything less risks disrupting our affordable supply of healthy food, argues Guy Smith, deputy president of the NFU.
Farmers are being told Brexit will bring about the end of the UK beef industry, but the doom-mongers are wrong, says Norman Bagley, head of policy at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).
Following the Chequers agreement, there was collective relief when it appeared the UK Cabinet’s two-year impasse on its Brexit negotiating position had finally been broken, writes NFU Scotland political affairs manager Clare Slipper.
In a UK free to design its own post-Brexit policy, farmers and environmental NGOs are fighting for the same cause – continued investment in the countryside, says Tom Lancaster, principal policy officer for agriculture at the RSPB.
So far the Government has refused to acknowledge any of the big questions about what future trade policy will mean for farmers. This cannot continue for long, says David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project and former civil servant at the Department for International Trade.
Unless the Prime Minister has a ‘eureka’ moment in the bathtub and finally recognises frictionless trade requires full regulatory harmonisation, the Brexit process is going nowhere, says Leave HQ editor Pete North.
Time is running out to negotiate a Brexit agreement which is good for the farming industry and the smart money must now be on ‘no deal’, says George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers’ Association (TFA).
Pig producers have not benefited from EU support, but they can lead the way in delivering public goods if the UK’s post-Brexit regime is properly designed, says Ed Barker, senior policy adviser at the National Pig Association.
While EU member states argue over a ‘renationalisation’ of the CAP, Governments in the four nations of the UK are writing farming policy with no regard for common frameworks which could prevent unfair competition, says Dr Nick Fenwick, FUW director of agricultural policy.
The UK must develop a post-Brexit regional and rural development strategy which protects small family farms, argues Terry Marsden, professor of environmental policy and planning and director of the sustainable places research institute at Cardiff University.
The view that food security is an old fashioned concern which harks back to a world where German U-boats patrolled the Atlantic is dangerously complacent, says Stuart Roberts, vice president of the NFU.
After Brexit, Welsh farmers will need access to EU markets, greater opportunities to sell to the public sector and a single brand for promotion on the world stage, says John Davies, NFU Cymru president.
Brexit brings challenges and opportunities for the sheep sector, but farmers who keep doing what they have always done will not survive the big changes ahead, says Phil Stocker, chief executive of the NSA.
Adam Speed, communications manager at the Crop Protection Association, welcomes the Government’s ambition on agri-tech, but warns the draft EU withdrawal agreement will leave the UK behind when it comes to active substance approval.
Staying in the European Economic Area and re-joining the European Free Trade Association is the only way to satisfy leavers and keep Brexit economic damage to a minimum, says Pete North, editor of Leave HQ.
A group of Defra civil servants who do not support commercial food production are in control of policy-making, says Norman Bagley, head of policy at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).
Sue Pritchard, director of the RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, explains what her organisation is doing to influence the future of farming and rural policy, and how farmers can get involved.
John Fishwick, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), explains why the safety and security of the UK’s food supply depends on getting the Home Office to put vets on the Shortage Occupation List.
Defra’s proposals for a new environmental land management scheme will not be a success without a complementary sustainable food strategy, argues Lucy Bjorck, senior land use policy officer at the RSPB.
NFUS political affairs manager Clare Slipper asks how much longer politics can hold up progress on a future agriculture policy in Scotland, noting Northern Ireland, which has no Government, is further along in the process.
A proposal in Defra’s future farming policy consultation to decouple payments from land eligibility and cross compliance for the next few years is the kind of radical thinking the industry needs, says TFA chief executive George Dunn.
UK shoppers get a third of what they eat from other EU member states. Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City, University of London, tells the Government it must wake up to the importance of food security as it prepares for Brexit.
It feels ungrateful to criticise Government plans to support the sheep sector in a no-deal Brexit, but we can do better than headage payments on breeding ewes, says Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association.
The RPA does not have a good reputation when it comes to making payments, but joining Countryside Stewardship may offer farmers an opportunity to mitigate Brexit uncertainty, says Lynette Steel, adviser at the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA).
Understanding single market rules, TRQs, MFN status and SPS measures isn’t easy, but politicians who supported Brexit should have had a firm grasp of these concepts before the referendum, says Dr Nick Fenwick, head of policy at the FUW.
A no-deal Brexit could happen at a busy time, with crops needing to be drilled and lambs being born, so farmers must spend time on contingency planning now, says Susan Twining, chief land use adviser at the CLA.