International speakers highlight 'huge opportunities'

Two speakers with an international perspective painted a rosy future for UK food and farming at the NFU conference.

New Zealand high commissioner to the UK and former MP Sir Lockwood Smith said: "Led by China, there will be a growth in the number of middle-class consumers from 500 million to three billion. There are huge opportunities. New Zealand can't produce enough to meet growing demand, we don't have enough land, so we will need to export technology too. The UK is well placed here - you should stop thinking of us as competitors and explore the opportunities to work together to meet global demand."

As one of just six countries without a trade agreement with the EU, "New Zealand risks becoming distant from Europe, and that troubles us," he added. "But New Zealand could be a useful partner for Europe, a trade agreement could benefit us all, but the longer we delay, the more likely the opportunities will be seized by others."

Investment expert Jim Rogers told farmers: "You have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but all that is about to change. Agriculture is becoming exciting, as food prices will have to go up. Yet the average age of a US farmer is 58, and we have more students graduating in PR than in agriculture. The opportunities are there. But in the UK, until you get rid of Brussels you are in a bind."

Smith added: "You need to make sure politicians don't muck up these opportunities for you."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

The publication of the Agriculture Bill this week formally kick-starts the Government's plans to implement a "green Brexit" for farming, the area of the economy most impacted by the UK's withdrawal from the EU from next March.

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

The Government maintains that a no-deal Brexit "remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome". But it has begun publishing a series of "technical notices" intended to explain the consequences for all parts of the economy should no deal be agreed with the EU by March next year.

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

After a sizeable dip last year, Europe's apple harvest looks to be back on track and could even break recent records. But the wider global situation means it should find a ready market.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon