Technical developments and future landprices appear to predict that arable farming is in a fairly good place for theforeseeable future, provided relative prices for grain are maintained, saidPaul Wilkinson, chairman of Fengrain at the end of the companys firstconference debating the future of arable farming and food supply in the UK.
Over 150 industry executives attended theevent at the East of England Showground to hear a panel of experts thatincluded: John Calder, Cefetra; Robert Fairey and Rob Hughes, Brown & Co;Ed Flatman, Limagrain; Mark Buckingham, Monsanto; Tim Smith, Tesco; StephenBarclay MP; and Prof Tim Lang, London University.
Future land prices, cost of production,technological change and innovation were presented and the challenge to currentfood consumption and the use of grain to produce more meat was challenged byProf Tim Lang of London University.
Tescos Technical Director, Tim Smith spokeabout the work being undertaken to get more transparency in the supply chain byoffering longer term contacts to producers. Following analysis of the bullishand bearish factors in the market
Stephen Barclay MP for NE Cambs, challengedthe audience to make themselves heard to government by ensuring that lobbyingon farming issues was consistent, concise, and meaningful.
Paul Wilkinson concluded: there arechallenges to provenance in the food supply chain driven by consumer demand forcheap food so retailers need to ensure food security and transparency arepriorities. Whilst an imbalance in food supply continues across the globe,future demand for grain as a direct and indirect foodstuff will remainhigh.