Farmers told to ‘step up’ to face challenges
Published:  09 January, 2017

A call for farmers, growers and the food industry to “step up” and address the obstacles in the way of agricultural competitiveness and productivity in a changing world was made by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). 

Jane King, chief executive of the levy board, took the opportunity at a recent fringe meeting to highlight the changes that have happened to AHDB in the past 12 months and to showcase some of the work expected in 2017.

She called for the whole industry to support efforts and to work closely to increase productivity and competitiveness as the UK prepares for a post-EU landscape.

“Our new strategy is about inspiring success in a rapidly changing world,” said King. “The importance of AHDB’s work is greater now than ever. This is why we have changed the way we work and brought out our new strategy that puts competitiveness and productivity squarely at the heart of what we do.

“I am challenging the industry now to work more closely with us. This is not only because we can achieve so much more by working together, but also because it’s essential to addressing the challenge of weak productivity growth. We need to join up more to deliver world-class innovation, skills and knowledge exchange.”

King also used this platform to discuss Farmbench, a new project allowing farmers to record and benchmark all information rather than being related to a specific enterprise on the farm. By listing and recording details on a daily basis, it allows farmers and growers to capture data, giving them the freedom to monitor costs of production and benchmark performance as a business.

“This is the start of a big focus on trying to get farmers and growers more motivated about recording costs and record keeping,” added King. “We need to develop a greater culture of business in farming.”