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August 24, 2022

These Five Principles For Change Are Crucial For UK Food & Farming

With geopolitical, inflationary and climatic turmoil on a global scale, every level of the food system is under scrutiny. Much of the ensuing debate is worthwhile, constructive and thought-provoking, despite some outlets preferring gloomy predictions of an apocalyptic nature.

Yet whichever way you choose to look at it, significant change is afoot across our food and farming sectors. It’s simply inevitable because agriculture is reaching its tipping point for transition.

If we accept that inevitability – that things will change, come what may – it doesn’t mean to say we can’t do anything about it. In fact, it set me thinking: if we know that change is coming, then what do we need to do to prepare for it?

I believe we must underpin this change with the five key points below: the Principles for Change:

1. Balance

  • Maximise output, optimise inputs.
  • Meet nutritional demand in full, and eradicate waste.
  • Mixed farming: capture the synergies between livestock and crop production.
  • Encourage biodiversity within food production.

2. Two-Tier Sustainability

  • It is hard for anybody to argue against climate change now; we must prioritise sustainable food production systems.
  • But financial sustainability is equally important – farms and food producers are businesses and must generate a financial surplus to invest in new technologies.
  • Perhaps regenerative systems, where the two co-exist, are the answer?

3. Data

  • ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. In a world of tight margins and precise input justification, data is king.
  • Low-cost, automated, sensor-based measurement delivered through a standardised, pragmatic ‘dashboard’ style approach to presentation will allow for a much broader uptake of this approach.

4. Security

  • We have exposed the fragility of global supply chains. How do we shorten them and produce more home-grown food?
  • New food production systems, whether CEA and vertical farming or alternative proteins, are the innovations we need. And we must reduce production costs to a level where mass market supply is viable, without compromising ongoing investment.

5. Status

  • The Government and consumers should realise the value and importance of Britain’s farming community to our national economy and security. Underestimate them at your peril!

Appropriate and pragmatic application of farming technology is the common theme; more so in a world of massive labour shortages. The momentum achieved in recent years must be maintained and nurtured further with support and investment. Britain’s farming community is one of the best – perhaps the best – in the world. Let’s give them the tools to deliver and turn this ‘crisis’ into an opportunity.

What do you think? Do any or all of these principles strike a chord? Could their application benefit your business or organisation? Contact David and let’s explore how AgriEnable can help you.