Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Conference to ‘define future’ for agriculture

January 2, 2019 by  
Filed under News & Business

Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman is among the top speakers confirmed for next month’s Norfolk Farming Conference.

This year’s conference theme is “Defining the Future” for farmers. Upwards of 400 delegates are expected to attend the one-day event, which takes place on Thursday, 7 February, at the John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich.

With Brexit less than three months away, farming’s future remains uncertain. But conference organisers believe the event will help conference delegates identify some key opportunities for UK agriculture – as well as providing some valuable insights.

Mr Freeman campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. He has spoken out against Theresa May’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement, arguing that it would put the UK into an unstable economic and political relationship with its European neighbours, trading partners and security allies.

“This current agreement tries to find a way to implement the various red lines and promises which have been made, promising continuity of market access today for freedom to diverge tomorrow. But, in reality, I fear it will not provide the lasting settlement we need.”

Mr Freeman believes politicians should respect the referendum result. But if parliament can’t find a solution, then he says logic suggests that the people must decide – either by a second referendum or in a general election.

Alternatively, Mr Freeman suggests joining the European Free Trade Area. This would give the  UK the benefits of accessing the single market without being in political union.

“It isn’t perfect and has its problems,” he acknowledges, arguing that the EFTA option should be explored, rather than dismissed. “But the signs are that it does have cross party support and might be able to get through parliament.”

Convened by the AF Group, the Norfolk Farming Conference  has become well-known in recent years for its diverse programme. Attendance has increased each year, as more farmers take advantage of the expertise and practical advice on offer.

Business leaders

Other speakers at this year’s event include NFU president Minette Batters and former government chief scientific adviser Sir John Beddington. The event will also be addressed by a number of agribusiness leaders and farmers.

The conference will focus on several topics for British farmers – including what to expect from agriculture in the near future, trends in commodity markets both inside and outside the UK, and how the next generation of farmers are pushing the industry forward.

Other speakers include Tulip Agriculture director and Dalehead Foods managing director Andrew Saunders; Bures Farm partners co-founder Jonathan Skinner; and Fielding Cottage managing director Sam Steggles.

Cambridge post-graduate student George Crane will give a talk about the benefits cover crops and promoting microbial health. And American farmer Corey Holmes will take about his experience of running a 5,600ha farm in the USA.

For full conference details, including tickets, visit www.norfolkfarmingconference.org.

studiopress

barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online