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.
The coronavirus crisis has exposed the Government’s failure to think about food policy, and it needs to be properly considered now, says Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City, University of London.
With the current existential threat of the coronavirus pandemic, we must ‘pause for thought’ in considering our future policy for food and farming outside EU rules and regulations, says George Dunn, Tenants Farmers Association chief executive.
Government’s preference for simple messages at the expense of logic means we are no more ready for the practical consequences of Brexit today than we were at the last two deadlines, says Shane Brennan, CEO of Cold Chain Federation.
The Government’s post-Brexit agriculture reforms provide an opportunity for farms to become more prosperous, but those who resist the push to become ‘park keepers’ risk being the first to go out of business, says independent consultant Derrick Wilkinson.
Eustice’s appointment as Defra Secretary seemed to be a popular one among farmers, but this just shows they haven’t been paying attention, says Hywel Davies, who is a partner at Cyfreithwyr Llys Cennen Solicitors and helps his parents run the Aman flock of pedigree Texel sheep, the 2018 Champion Flock of Wales.
Critics of the industry often claim today’s pesticides are more toxic and damaging to soil than ever – but nothing could be further from the truth, says Adam Speed, head of communications at the Crop Protection Association.
Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers wants to ban farrowing crates post-Brexit, but without support from Government and retailers, such a move would threaten UK pig farming’s future, says Zoe Davies, NPA chief executive.
UK political discourse has become more tribal in recent years, but the Government should be aware that society is united on one thing – the need to protect standards after Brexit, says Sue Pritchard, director of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC).
There have been a lot of challenges for farmers over the past 10 years, but they have left us battle-hardened and ready to take on the world, not battle-weary and cowered, says NFU deputy president Guy Smith.
Boris’ fashioning of a new deal from Brussels that everyone thought impossible, has changed the whole dynamic of future negotiations, says Norman Bagley, head of policy at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).
Common land can provide many public goods, but they will only be truly realised if commoners are involved in the design of post-Brexit agriculture policy, says Chris Short, chairman of the Foundation for Common Land.
Three years on from the referendum, the UK has still not done what it should’ve at the outset – defined the role it wants to play in the world outside the EU. Now is the time for it to do so, says Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation.
If farm gate prices drop as a result of leaving the EU with no deal, Government support must be targeted at farmers and feeders with animals to sell into the slaughter market, says LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds.
Paying £20 over the odds for Mules will be the least of anyone’s problems in a no-deal Brexit, says Hywel Davies, who is a partner at Cyfreithwyr Llys Cennen Solicitors and helps his parents run the Aman flock of pedigree Texel sheep, the Champion Flock of Wales.
Growing cannabis provides an opportunity for farmers to make money as direct support is withdrawn, but Government regulations must change first, says Dr Colin Morgan from agricultural consultancy ADAS.
The Government has finally started seeking views on a Food Strategy, and this important work cannot be shelved, regardless of what happens with Brexit or an election, says Adam Speed, communications manager at the CPA.
If the Government announced sheep farmers would be supported by a scheme similar to the old Variable Premium now, it would maintain industry confidence over the coming months, says NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.
No one has done more than me to warn of the risks of a no-deal Brexit, but now it seems to be the only way to resolve the debates which have plagued the UK over the last three years, says Leave HQ editor Pete North.
The UK pork market needs greater tariff protection in a no-deal Brexit to prevent British pig producers from being undercut by US and Canadian imports, says National Pig Association senior policy adviser Ed Barker.
With no-deal Brexit preparations consuming the Government’s time and resource, there is a danger that Michael Gove’s innovative Ag Bill could fall by the wayside, says Vicki Hird, head of farming at Sustain.
Even with the Agriculture Bill in the deep freeze, Government can incentivise sustainable farming by ensuring public institutions serve more organic, British food, says Helen Browning, Soil Association chief executive.
When an American professor says the US learns from the UK on animal welfare, and urges British farmers ‘not to give up what we have’, it’s time to listen and reassess any future trade deal, says BVA president Simon Doherty.
With Gove bidding for the Tory leadership, he’s almost certain to leave Defra. But farmers will need a strong leader, like Rory Stewart, to stand up for ag over the coming years, says George Dunn, TFA chief executive.
Food businesses which made unrecoverable commitments ahead of the March no-deal deadline will be far less inclined to make the same kind of preparation again in October, says Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation.
A second referendum would see people voting not on the merits of EU membership, but how our politicians have handled Brexit. It’s time for MPs to start respecting the original vote, says David Handley, Farmers For Action chairman.
Native breeds provide a number of benefits to farmers in terms of increased profits and reduced input costs. They may well prove to be the future for post-Brexit farming, says Chris Price, chief executive of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).
Defining what leave actually meant during the referendum campaign would have ensured a remain win, because the Eurosceptic vote has always been split, says Hywel Davies, partner at Cyfreithwyr Llys Cennen Solicitors.
The President of the US is to visit the UK in June, and the thought of him pitching up with with hormone-treated beef under one arm and chlorinated chicken under the other fills me with dread, says NFU Cymru president John Davies.
The Trump administration, with its ‘America First’ policy, will not hesitate to take advantage of the UK in trade talks if it finds itself weakened by Brexit, says John Wilkes, consultant and FG’s Washington correspondent.
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.