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Business-like thinking key for future of post-Brexit support

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Farmers have been urged they must have better business-like minds if they are to have confidence in further financial support from the Government.

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Farmers were encouraged to formulate a business model and gain appropriate business skills.
Farmers were encouraged to formulate a business model and gain appropriate business skills.
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Business-like minds key for future of post-Brexit support #ORFC17

Farming needs to remove notion of 'us and them' in politics #ORFC17

The claims came amid discussion at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on the challenges of how best to propose a desirable policy template as the industry negotiates its future upon leaving the EU.

 

Christopher Price, director of policy and advice at the CLA, argued there was little point in expecting the Government to establish better financial support solutions if farmers did not have a business model to offer evidence funding would be used in on-farm business.

 

He said: “We have real opportunities right now to be providing options to the Government to protect the industry on post-Brexit policies.

 

“But farmers need to start taking responsibility themselves – you cannot say you need business support if you are not behaving in a business-like manner.”

 

 

Tim Benton, professor of population ecology and Dean of strategic research initiatives at the University of Leeds, backed the comments, adding the current notion of farming and politics was very much one of ’us and them’.

 

He said: "How are you shaping your political voice? The Government is only interested in economic growth but farmers are able to deliver a range of public goods.

 

"It is time to highlight this multi-functionality which requires multi-disciplinary and sectoral alliance - we have to do much better to try and work with."

 

Conventional

Mr Price added the reason tax-payers previously refused to continue payments to farmers was because they were not happy funding a farm to ‘simply exist’, but urged delegates to remember the ‘full-range of things farmers can provide’ and to fight for a reward for ‘every single one of them’.

 

“Do everything that a conventional business does – being a good farmer is not singularly good enough,” he added.

 

“You need to acquire the business skills to go alongside it.”

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