Taking place in the context of confidence levels and investment falling among farmers and six months on from the publication of the House of Lords Energy and Environment Sub-Committee report which investigated the implications of Brexit for UK agriculture and food, this forum will provide delegates with a timely opportunity to discuss and debate future priorities for the UK Agriculture sector and ensuring farming communities receive the support they need to thrive in a post-Brexit world.
Future of Farming Support in a Post-CAP Age
Delegates will discuss the future shape of support and subsidies for farming communities as the implications of leaving the EU's Common Agriculture Policy become clearer. With the Government promising to maintain existing support until 2022 consideration will be given to how farmers, food producers, environmental experts and the wider agricultural sector can work together to develop a modern system of public support that can maintain the UK’s food security whilst also potentially providing new incentives to promote the health of the environment, investment in research and innovation to increase productivity and a boost to training and skills for farming businesses.
Competitiveness of UK Agricultural Products
Sessions will provide an opportunity to consider the emerging business opportunities for agri-food businesses as the UK is able to negotiate new trade deals after exiting the EU whilst also preparing for the possible competitive disadvantages of lower quality standards in new markets. Latest thinking on how the UK can continue to benefit from both permanent and seasonal labour from EU countries and the negotiation of new trading relations with the EU and preparation for potential new tariff and non-tariff barriers that might reduce the competitiveness of UK products will also be discussed.
The 25 Year Plan for Nature
The morning will also provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss the much anticipated 25 Year Plan for Nature which pledges to ‘’leave our environment in a much better state than we found it’’. With an early draft of the plan praised for having a strong general framework but criticised for having a lack of practical solutions delegates will consider the recommendation of the Environmental Audit Committee in January that a new Environmental Protection Act is needed to maintain the UK's strong environmental standards which to date have been heavily influenced by the EU. Consideration will also be given to how the 25 Year Plan for the Natural Environment can complement the 25 Year Plan for Food, Farming and Fisheries also being developed by Defra.