Farmer Focus: We must produce what consumers want to buy

Happy New Year everyone! Taking time to reflect seems to be a good thing to do at the end of one year and the beginning of the next and particularly as we close the decade.

It’s a great opportunity to be able to review or create objectives; both long term and short term, at both personal and business levels.

It is also a great thing to share them with people, whether colleagues, family members, employers or employees. Setting objectives can give a real focus and a target to be able to review.

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One thing I think should be at the forefront of any objective is positivity.

As an industry I do think we need to be more positive, whether that’s just chatting to a neighbour or when we are relating information to the public through the media.

We do have a lot to be positive about.

I do, however, think the way we farm today, at the end of this decade, will be completely different by the end of the next one.

Food production is no longer about maximising production to ensure there are enough calories to keep a nation going.

We have a new target audience that is even further removed from agriculture, has been used to a continual readily available supply of food, and is becoming more health conscious and wants to help save the planet.

However, with change comes opportunities. As an industry we need to be at the forefront of these and produce what consumers want to buy.

Environmental concerns are also areas where agriculture can help. Agriculture is part of the solution, not the problem.

Carbon sequestration, I am sure, will be something we are measured on in the future.

Taking land out of production to go into stewardship, or to be planted with trees may sound like a backward step, but selecting areas of land that have been providing a poor return will potentially help the bottom line as well as providing an environmental benefit.

A positive story that the public wants to hear!