19 July 2002

Think global & make a profit

A FORMER president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has urged farmers to "think global" to help boost their incomes.

Peter Faulkner, who recently stepped down after his year in office, spent much of the past 12 months visiting rural professionals in other countries around the world.

He said: "I believe we have a bit of a siege mentality. We worry about other countries shipping their stuff into the UK but I am not sure we worry enough about exporting our food to other parts of the world."

Selling commodities

Mr Faulkner said he recognised that organisations such as British Cereal Exports worked hard to sell British commodities such as barley to countries like China.

But he added: "I am not sure that many farmers are thinking that way.

Non-agricultural businesses had adapted to become profitable enterprises and British farmers should do the same, said Mr Faulkner.

"I regret to say that I do not see British farmers being given special support, not least because central and eastern European countries which produce food much more cheaply are queuing up to join the EU." &#42