Sunday, November 19, 2017

Major meeting to discuss how Brexit can deliver

November 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News & Business

A regional conference is set to discuss whether farmers could survive without direct payments after the UK leaves the European Union.

The Three Counties Farming Conference takes place at the Malvern showground on Thursday, 16 November. Speakers include former Defra secretary Owen Paterson, NFU president Meurig Raymond, the CLA’s Tim Breitmeyer and New Zealand agricultural trade envoy Mike Peterson

The government has promised to keep overall payments the same until 2022. But it is likely that farmers will have to “earn their subsidy” by implementing environmental measures rather than receiving the bulk of it through a single annual payment.

It comes as a report by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board warned that average farm profits could drop from £38,000 to £15,000 a year in the worst case post-Brexit scenario – with many farmers making a loss if direct payments are abolished.

Brexit scenarios

The report maps examines a range of possible post-Brexit scenarios. But while results differ on a sector-by-sector basis, only the top 25% of farm businesses – regardless of sector – remained profitable under every projected situation.

AHDB market intelligence director Phil Bicknell said: “This analysis underlines the fact that performance matters. As individual farms, we know that we can’t determine policy but we can recognise that performance is key to preparing for the challenges ahead.”

The analysis examined the possible effect of different trading arrangements, farm support measures and labour availability. They range from a ‘business as usual’ approach with current levels of support to a cliff-edge Brexit with dramatically reduced direct payments.

Vulnerable sectors

Particularly vulnerable sectors include beef, lamb and cereals. Mr Bicknell said: “Brexit brings renewed focus on farm performance. Do nothing and businesses that are currently profitable run the risk of heading into the red.”

AHDB says growers and livestock producers should aim to learn from the top 25% of businesses and use them as a benchmark for what is achievable in the way they run their own farms. But there are concerns that some farm businesses won’t be able to survive Brexit.

NFU Brexit director Nick von Westenholz said: “It is clear that with the rollercoaster of farm gate prices many farmers would not be able to continue in business without current levels of volatility protection offered by the CAP.”

It was vital that a future domestic agricultural policy provided a resilient and relatively stable income so farmers were able to deliver high quality British food for British consumers, while continuing to uphold high environmental and animal welfare standards.

For details about the Three Counties Farming Conference, visit www.farmingconference.co.uk

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

 
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