NFU President Meurig Raymond believes that farming can survive the current crisis affecting key sectors including cereals, milk and vegetables, but that in order to do so it must utilise the very best information and technology, not only to improve productivity, but also to emphasise the importance of the sector to society as a whole.
Speaking at AgriTech East’s REAP (Realising our Economic and Agricultural Potential) Conference on Wednesday (11 November) Raymond congratulated the Government for its recently announced 25 year Food and Farming Plan and emphasised how the NFU is feeding into that process, but he also lamented the fact that UK self-sufficiency in food has now fallen to just 62 per cent.
He said that provided they were allowed to make a return, farmers were more than willing to invest in the future of their businesses. “Our top priorities must be tackling the barriers to growth and investment,” he stressed. “We need a fair, transparent and functioning supply chain.”
In conclusion Mr Raymond said that policy makers needed to recognise the long term cycles affecting farming. “I am confident that farming is going to find its rightful place in society, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride,” he added.
Photo credit: Richard Crowhurst