Prince Charles’ recent essay for the BBC’s Today programme and the Government’s publication of its National Food Strategy plan have brought the future of farming and food production in the UK back to the forefront of national debate, if, indeed, they were ever absent.
Both Prince Charles’ intervention and the Government’s paper pose questions many of us have been considering for some time over the scale and purpose of UK farming in the future:
- Is large scale farming environmentally sustainable; can small scale farming be economically viable?
- Is the primary purpose of UK agriculture to produce food or provide stewardship for the countryside?
The questions raised are complex and the ultimate answers will have far reaching consequences. As such, this is an area that we, as a firm, are considering in depth with our clients to help guide them through what is, not only a period of uncertainty, but also one of great opportunity. It is potentially a chance for some to tear up the existing approaches to farming and agricultural structures and start with a blank piece of paper, focussing on the best outcome for the future and how we achieve those aims.
We will be looking at this further in our upcoming Responsible Business Report published in September and celebrating our clients and contacts who are looking to challenge these structures already.
Thursday's report will explore the links between food production and environmental degradation including climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and the sustainable use of resources.