Growers attending this year’s Cereal’s event (13-14 June) will have the chance to debate whether a carbon neutral footprint is possible for UK arable farmers and if so, how it might be delivered.

The subject will be the first of three topics debated during the HSBC-sponsored ‘Investing in the Future’ forums.

“UK farming is up for the challenge of a neutral carbon footprint; however the industry must lead a constructive, consumer-based debate on the use of science to help farming reduce its carbon footprint,” said National Farmers Union president, Peter Kendall, who will be opening the series of discussions.

“In our rush to prove our ability to reduce the carbon footprint, the government must not regulate until we really know what best practise is, highlighting the need for more targeted research and development spend.”

Mr Kendall urged the government and regulators not to restrict food and fuel production and said we must avoid exporting our problems to other countries that have less focus on greenhouse gas emissions.

The other two subjects being debated on both days are; “Food versus Fuel” – balancing competition between food and fuel production, and “Does it pay to be green?” – threats and opportunities from the environmental agenda.

The forums are free to Cereals event visitors and will be held on the HSBC stand number 608; the timetable for which is outlined below:

Wednesday 13 June:

  • 10a.m. Can UK agriculture ever achieve a carbon-neutral footprint? Peter Kendall, NFU President and Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Non-Food Crops
  • 11a.m. The Real Biofuel Agenda, Richard Whitlock, Frontier & Graham Lacey, Centaur Grain
  • 2.30p.m. Does it Pay to be Green? Caroline Drummond, LEAF and Guy Smith

Thursday 14 June:

  • 10a.m. Can UK agriculture ever achieve a carbon-neutral footprint? Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Non-Food Crops
  • 11a.m. The Real Biofuel Agenda, Richard Whitlock, Frontier & Graham Lacey, Centaur Grain
  • 2.30p.m. Does it Pay to be Green? Caroline Drummond, LEAF and Guy Smith