As part of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s ‘Transition to 2030’ research strand, we invited farmers and other agricultural professionals to hold discussions about the future of farming over the kitchen table or down the pub.
This is something you can do too.
Use this discussion kit to facilitate a conversation with friends or colleagues to explore some of the challenges facing farming and the practical things you can do to respond.
Beyond the immediate uncertainty around Brexit day, farmers are bracing for at least a decade of transition, adjusting not only to changes in payments, but also in markets, diets, labour availability, standards, regulation, weather patterns, and technology.
Much attention has focused on the short term. But even 10 years pass fast in an industry planning multi-year rotations, making 25-year investments and planning succession over generations. Decisions made years ago lock down your options today.
As well as making contingencies for trade disruption and testing future payment schemes, policy makers therefore need to plan now to ensure farms have the support and flexibility to develop their core business through a decade of change.
The Commission identified this as a crucial gap. We wanted to hear from farmers and advisors about the changes they see coming, the challenges they face in adjusting to them and ensuring their business can thrive, and what the industry and government can do to help.
We’re still keen to hear from farmers about the challenges they’re facing and the practical solutions that could help. If you want to contribute to the research, please take a photo of your groups answers and send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s your group so feel free to explore the questions how you’d like, but here’s some suggestions for running a good discussion.