Are farmers’ glasses half full or half empty? – The Property Chronicle
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Are farmers’ glasses half full or half empty?

The Farmer

As we look forward over the coming year, British agriculture is having to manage uncertainty – much like any other sector. Britain’s departure from the EU is not the only issue. Farms are also having to take on board the full implications of the government’s ‘25-Year Strategy for Food and the Environment’ and its relatively recently published Agriculture Bill.

In that context, I think it’s fair to say the proverbial glass, while certainly not empty, is at present not considered full either – not least because nobody can actually say what a full measure might look like.

Whether it is half full or half empty, though, is hotly contested.

At the recent Oxford Farming Conference, possibly because of the presence of the Secretary of State, farming leaders seemed to lean very much towards half empty. They expressed concerns about cheap food imports not meeting required standards, the issue of exporting to Europe, the withdrawal of farm area payments and ensuring government objectives are as focussed on food production as on environment enhancement.

These are all legitimate concerns, but as I meet up with farmers in their workplace there are many who also see the glass as half full – maybe in certain cases three quarters full!

The Farmer

About John Moverley

John Moverley

John graduated in Agriculture and was awarded the Wood Prize for best student in the subject and a College Scholarship. After holding a research fellowship and lectureship at Nottingham University, John’s subsequent career has spanned the public, private and charitable sectors with 20 years at chief executive level. John has held numerous regional and national posts and his last full time post was as Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. Current roles include chairman of the Amenity Forum, a Forestry & Woodlands Advisory Committee and Mercia Community Forest. He is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and the Institute of Agricultural Engineers and holds honorary Fellowships at both the University of Central Lancashire and Myerscough College and his chair is at De Montfort University. In 2004, he was awarded the OBE for services to agriculture and education and has recently been elected President at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, for the 2018/19 academic year.

Articles by John Moverley

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