HSBC, which has a team of over 50 managers dedicated to agriculture and agribusiness for farmer and grower customers, is principal sponsor of the Cereals event. 

This year, the bank will host eight Working Together forums over the two days led by industry experts, including Lord Whitty, the Food and Farming Minister, and Tim Bennett, President of the NFU.

The speakers, who represent a range of industry interests, will address the challenges and opportunities facing arable farmers and open up the issues for debate.

The forums will provide farmers with an opportunity to engage with some of the industry‘s key thinkers at a time when many will be getting to grips with the recently announced and fundamental changes to the Common Agricultural Policy.

Other speakers leading the forums, which take place at Heath Farm, Leadenham, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire, are:

  • Francis Mordaunt, head of Anderson’s business research and a specialist in CAP reform, who will speak at forums on both days. Mr Mordaunt is a well-known commentator on the implications of policy changes and will urge farmers to plan carefully to assess the real implications of the CAP reform;
  • Meurig Raymond, NFU vice-president, is a cereal producer from Pembrokeshire and a main board member of the Home Grown Cereals Authority;
  • Graham Lacey, trading director of Centaur Grain, will represent the grain marketing sector at the forums and highlight some recent examples of innovative and successful industry collaborations;
  • Essex farmer Guy Smith, who has recently been awarded the title of NFU Farming Ambassador of the Year, will give the farmer’s perspective on the cereal industry and encourage organisations representing the industry to help arable farmers to adapt.

Michael Summers, senior manager at HSBC Agriculture, said:  “We are bringing together a first class line up of speakers representing a broad range of industry interests.

“We expect lively debates on a whole range of issues, but primarily the focus will be on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as the cereals industry moves into an unsupported marketplace.”

The full timetable of Working Together forums is:

June 16

June 17

11am Lord Whitty*,
Food and Farming Minister
Meurig Raymond, 
NFU Vice President
12pm  Tim Bennett, NFU President Graham Lacey, Centaur Grain
1pm Guy Smith, arable farmer    Guy Smith, arable farmer
2pm Francis Mordaunt, Andersons Francis Mordaunt, Andersons
* subject to Parliamentary commitments