‘Key transition period for British agriculture’ - CCM News
Hot off the press is Skipton Auction Mart’s annual magazine, CCM News, packed with agricultural-related features and informed comment from sector experts, both in-house and externally, along with an-in depth round-up in both words and pictures of the 2021 show and sale season.
The front page headline – ‘Transition period for British Farming’ – sets the scene for by-lined content, flagging up far-reaching changes on the horizon. The lead article notes:”The new Agriculture Act, the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM), Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship (CS), plus international trade deals, all look set to change the very face and future of British farming.
“While keywords such as quality, safety and environmental sustainability abound, there is still an apparent plethora of confusion, notably among policy and decision makers, a lack of clarity that makes it so difficult for farmers to effectively plan for the future – for their very survival.”
Jeremy Eaton. CCM’s general manager and auctioneer, comments: “Transition period it certainly is and the void of information is no doubt due to policy makers tip toeing through competing environmental demands rather than any underlying fear about food supply and food inflation, which still has the potential to propel food up the list of priorities through need and popular demand,”
Colleague Ted Ogden, the mart’s livestock sales manager and auctioneer, concurs. “Major challenges lie ahead for the agriculture sector as a whole new world looms. Hopefully, we will start to see some indication and more importantly direction from government about where we are heading,” he says.
There are similar thoughts from other external contributors. Adam Bedford, regional director for the NFU in Yorkshire and the North East, notes: “The lack of clarity on future policy makes planning in an uncertain farming world so much more difficult,” while Amandeep Kaur Purewal, AHDB senior analyst (policy), points out: “Since EU exit, under current trade policy UK farmers are going to face more competition and more exposure to the global marketplace.”
Cedric Porter, agricultural business journalist and editor of Brexit Food & Farming, opines: “There is greater recognition of the quality, safety and sustainability of the beef, lamb and other products British farmers produce and Yorkshire in particular is blessed with some of the best land for growing grass and crops in the world.”
Likewise, Helen Keep, senior farm conservation officer, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, writes: “Farming has helped produce the Dales landscape we know and love, but change is coming and there are massive opportunities to improve the way that land is used and secure a sustainable future for farm businesses.”
Other specialist contributors include Craven College’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Lindsey Johnson, who, looking to the very future of farming, notes: “We need good quality careers advice for young people, who need to experience what it is like to work in agriculture and to find out about the breadth of opportunities available in farming.”
Keynote sponsors of CCM News, which runs to 28 A4 pages, are Skipton NFU Mutual and Craven College. Hard copies are available from the mart office, while the company magazine can also be downloaded and viewed via the home page link at www.ccmauctions.com