4 September 1998

Farming opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe

CENTRAL and Eastern Europe is one of the fastest-changing areas in the world – both agriculturally and economically.

Already its influence is being felt in the West, as trade increases and EU farmers and agri-businesses, often disillusioned with prospects at home, look to invest abroad.

From 2000, the regions impact will be even more direct, as farm support policies are adapted to accommodate the first five countries from the area lining up to join the EU.

Given the importance of this fast-emerging region, FW is teaming up with the Department of Trade and Industry, the East European Trade Council, Midland Bank and MAFF, to present a special evening conference at Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire, on Tuesday, Oct 6.

Drawing on first-hand experience, the evening promises to be as entertaining as it is informative.

The conference costs £25, including buffet supper.

Conference agenda

4.00pm: Arrival and coffee.

4.30pm: Chairmans welcome – Mike Hutchings (regional agriculture manager, Midland Bank).

4.35pm: Agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe, by Tanya Arkle (MAFF desk officer for Central Europe and China).

4.50pm: Hungary – a farmers view, by Peter Merrikin (director of a 10,000ha Hungarian farming company).

5.10pm: Romania – the free-market economy, by Christopher Crabbe (ambassador to Romania).

5.25pm: The Farmwealth experience, by Chris Graf Grote (managing director of an agricultural investment company with 7000ha in Poland and the Czech Republic).

5.45pm: Central European markets, by Graham Harris (general manager of arable marketing for Dalgety in the region).

6.05pm: How can the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development help you?, by Tony Hume (senior banker in the agri-business department).

6.20pm: How can the East European Trade Council help you?, by Jeremy Elgin (trade and investment advisor, specialising in agriculture).

6.35pm: Questions and answers.

7.00pm: Buffet supper.

Has your appetite been whetted? If so, you may be interested in an agricultural mission which the East European Trade Council is organising from Sunday, Oct 25 to Saturday, Oct 31. Sponsored by the DTI, it will consist of up to 20 UK farmers and agri-businessmen interested in investment opportunities in Romania and Hungary. Cost of the trip is £1025, including a £275 DTI subsidy. For more details, contact Jeremy Elgin at the EETC on 0171 222 7622.