2 min read

The end of farming as we know it.....

The end of farming as we know it.....

Riverford Organic dropped this video last month giving one of the starkest outlooks for British farming that we've seen in a while.

One of the most shocking statistics was;

50% of vegetable farmers fear they will not be in business next year because they simply cannot make it pay.

And vegetable farmers are not alone:

Things cannot continue like this and I believe the industry is at a turning point.

Things have to change...

The UK supermarkets have created a monopoly that is just too big to challenge.

Which leaves us with 2 options:

  • Continue down the current road of producing food at lower and lower prices with little control over our future or;
  • Diversify out of food production, give ourselves more control and put our businesses on a more secure financial footing

My preferred option would be the later. If fact, i don't think we have an choice. If we don't change we're not going to have much of an industry left.

Identity shift

I'm not saying that option 2 is easy. It's not.

This would be a dramatic shift in farming. It would be a dramatic shift in what it means to be "a farmer".

So much of our identify is tied up in the ability to produce food and feed the nation.

But for many, that doesn't pay, and therefore needs to change.

Because if we are to have any chance at feeding the nation then we need businesses and people that are fit, healthy and thriving. And that is a world away from where we are at the moment.

Our greatest saviour?

So what can we do about it?

Well, I think one of our greatest opportunities lies in our ability to tackle climate change. Farming is at the forefront of tackling climate change and hopefully we can be paid a fair price to do so.

So I'll leave you to think about the following: How you can use your land or adapt your business for:

  • Renewable energy projects
  • Forestry and tree planting
  • Biodiversity and wildlife enhancement or;
  • Carbon sequestration

Not only will environmental schemes like this provide an additional income stream but it'll be one that is completely removed from food production.

Whilst it might not look like traditional farming, it can provide more control and stability for farm businesses.

And I can only see that as a good thing.

Until next week......