16 November 2001

STILL BAGS OF CONFIDENCE

There may not be a Smithfield Show this year, but as is our tradition in Smithfield off years, were focusing on meat and machinery markets and looking forward to Smithfield 2002, which takes place at Earls Court, London from Sun, Nov 24, to Wed, Nov 27, 2002

AS THE UKs leading business farming event, the Royal Smithfield Show needs to keep pace with farmers, understand their needs and deliver a show which will help meet their requirements.

We talk to our farmer customers regularly on key issues to find out how we can develop the show to help them function efficiently and profitably. Earlier this year, for example, we commissioned a survey among the countrys leading farmers, which came up with some encouraging findings.

For example, 23% said they would increase their expenditure on machinery and equipment during the next three years – twice as many as in 1999, 50% said their expenditure would remain the same, compared to 38% in 1999 and only 22% said they would decrease their expenditure – compared to 42% two years ago.

This is a measure of confidence for the current commitment of UK farmers not only to remain with farming, but also to invest in machinery in the future.

Another interesting fact was 72% were in favour of joining the k – half within five years – while 49% felt that joining the k would improve their farming businesses.

Farmers are also adapting to new technology. Some 87% had Internet access – compared to 31% in 1999 – and 77% used e-mail in their businesses.

It is clear the farmers we surveyed are here to stay and will invest to maintain the excellence of their operations.

In many ways this reflects the sentiments of the Royal Smithfield Show. We are in the business of supporting the farming industry and our aim for 2002 is, as ever, to focus on how the show can help farmers to meet the challenges that lie ahead, by adapting to change.Sue Silsby, Show director

Sponsors already support it

A NUMBER of leading companies have already confirmed their support for Smithfield 2002 in the form of show sponsorship.

Merial, sponsors of the Shows major cattle championship since 1998, has agreed to continue its sponsorship at both the 2002 and the 2004 Royal Smithfield Shows.

Other leading names already committed to sponsoring key areas at Smithfield 2002 are Case International, New Holland UK, NatWest Bank, Total Butler, BAGMA and farmers weekly.

For Smithfield 2002 details, see

www.royal-smithfield.co.uk

Stand space sought after for 02

OVER 85% of the available stand space has already been sold for next years Royal Smithfield Show, which takes place at Earls Court Exhibition Centre from Sun, Nov 24 to Wed, Nov 27 2002.

All the leading multi-national tractor and machinery companies are continuing to support the show, including New Holland, AGCO, John Deere, Case, Claas and JCB. Several of the larger tractor and machinery companies have booked larger stand areas, and there are a number of new exhibitors.

The shows Business Area also continues to grow, and most of the leading names in this sector will be exhibiting. Plans are also in hand to develop a dairy feature and further enhance the successful Business of Meat initiative launched at Smithfield 2000.

Farmer forums will keep you on the right track

FOR thousands of farmers, it is increasingly difficult to justify the time and expense of a day away from their businesses. A generation ago, it was an annual treat to mooch around Earls Court, eyeing meat and metal, mingling business and pleasure. Now, the pleasure comes from knowing you are making the most of the opportunities the show provides to keep your business on track.

Thats why a day at Smithfield has come to include one or more sessions picking up information and networking with the industrys movers and shakers at the farmers weekly Farmer Forums. Every day, whether the visitors main farming interests lie in arable or milk production, beef or sheep, the main Forum Theatre offers an expert and provocative panel of speakers in each subject. These are people who can briefly and succinctly bring farmers right up-to-date in their specialist fields. The programme encourages members of the audience to put individual views and ideas, or to ask questions.

Down-to-earth topics of the day also feature in the programme, usually in the more intimate environment of the small Forum Theatre.

The current pace of change means that its too early to say what the Big Debates will cover in November 2002. But farmers weekly welcomes suggestions.


Machinery manufacturing 4

Meat trends 7

Farmer Forums 10

Machinery year 11

Boosting meat margins 14

Edited by David Cousins