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Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

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What do three young farmers make of what is in-store for agriculture?

With so many unknowns around the industry’s future, Hannah Park asked three young farmers how they expect their industry will change in the coming years.

Ian Norbury
Ian Norbury

Ian Norbury, Mobberley, Cheshire.


Strict land management has enabled Ian Norbury, 37, to up cow numbers at pace. The 100-hectare (250-acre) farm has grown from calving 70 sucklers in 2018 to its current 110-head herd, plus finishers.


Half are pedigree AberdeenAngus, with the rest cross-bred and suckler beef are sold alongside bulls under Mobberley Angus. Mr Norbury farms in partnership with his father Geoff, and is helped by Jack Ancell, who lives locally.


Mr Norburry says: "I think the main threat for beef farmers in the near future is the attitudes and misconceptions surrounding red meat production and its effect on our climate.


"Mainstream media outlets, such as the BBC, are consistently presenting subjective and inaccurate information to the nation which is damaging British farming.


"I think there are many opportunities when it comes to share farming though, particularly linking livestock and arable farms to make better use of livestock nutrients.

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" In the future I would like to see mandatory EID tagging for cattle. For those about to enter a career in farming, my advice would be you need to be resilient and flexible.


"You need to find the best people and learn from them, while building a network.


"Finally, do not be afraid to ask. Most farmers are willing to help if you ask them."

Jacob Anthony, Tondu, Bridgend.

Jacob Anthony, 26, returned home to work in the family business after finishing his agricultural studies. He farms
alongside is grandfather, David, and parents, Peter and Emma, in their mixed beef, sheep, arable and outside contracting business.


Livestock includes 300 head of beef cattle, alongside 1,000 breeding ewes, which are managed in the farm’s 280 hectares (700 acres).

Jacob ant pic

Jacob Anthony.

"Come 2029, I still see the family hill farm producing lamb in a similar manner, although I think we will continue to evolve each year in terms of efficiency and use of new technology.


"The most important thing for me over the next 10 years is to make sure the farm is sustainable and profitable, which could mean looking into more diversification opportunities.


"Threats and opportunities often seem to come together as double-edged swords in farming, and Brexit is one example.


"There are undoubtedly huge risks, especially around trade, if we end up with a cliff edge scenario come January.


"But at the same time there is a new world full of opportunities, for trade in emerging markets, as well as the chance to help reform a new domestic agricultural policy which is more specific to British farming.


"With many people blaming meat consumption for having a major impact on global warming, there is also an opportunity for us to flip this trend into a positive and, through education, show people all the good things agriculture in this country already does for the environment and let it become a major USP for us as food producers.


"Something I would like to see change drastically from a Welsh agricultural point of view is some of the devolved powers, specifically around agriculture and trade, as the current situation makes it difficult for us, as a predominantly exporting nation, to trade agricultural goods.

Will Mitchell, St. Kew, Cornwall.

Will Mitchell, 26, farms in partnership with his parents on their 160-hectare (400-acre) dairy farm. Job satisfaction for him is breeding pedigree Holsteins in their 200-head herd, and is a side of the business he has focused on in recent years to grow their Laram prefix.

Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell.

"Over the next 10 years, the plan is to continue to grow the quality of our Holsteins using embryo transfer to accelerate this.


"A selection of certain animals will be made for our milk contract and breeding aims by using genomic testing, with surplus heifers sold.


"Self-sufficiency for electricity and water will be another key area to focus on as the world aims to become more carbon neutral.


"Any trade deals the UK Government agrees with the rest of Europe and the wider world could be a threat or opportunity in the near future.


"Imported dairy produce could have a detrimental effect on domestic prices but, if a deal is done, we could see a profitable industry in years to come.

"I think promoting home-grown British produce to the general public needs to be improved.


"Educating people on how British agriculture works on a day-to-day basis should be shown through media outlets without bias and Defra, alongside other bodies such as AHBD and the NFU, need to do more to counteract these situations."

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