UK farming can flourish outside Europe – The Property Chronicle
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UK farming can flourish outside Europe

The Farmer

Unleashing innovation is the key to a new, improved British agricultural policy 

As discussions on the future of UK agriculture continue, many have given voice to their dreams – and indeed their nightmares. The vision of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is for the highest standards to be applied to UK food, with productions systems highly sensitive to environmental needs, and public money supplied only for public goods. However, all this can be achieved only if such a model is made profitable for farmers. So, what are the key issues involved here and the possible directions? 

It would be difficult to find anyone opposed to the idea of producing food to the highest standards and fully protecting our environment, but it is important to consider the costs and implications. The shift from land area support payment systems will increase food production costs and, if standards are not to diminish, that must inevitably result in higher food prices unless there is direct government intervention. Also, if there are to be increased environmental constraints on farming practice, productivity could fall, again increasing food prices. This will create a dilemma for retailers wanting to buy British but battling to keep their prices down. The pressure to import cheaper food, albeit at a lower standard, will be great – especially for discount retailers. The result would be unprofitable UK farming, with a consequent impact on our countryside and the environment.

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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