And another thing: Doug Wanstall

Do farmers actually learn anything new at conferences?

I don’t go to many, but I always learn something and Oxford is probably the best. I think that anyone who thinks they do not learn anything, probably has a lot to learn.

Is Oxford special?

Oxford is clearly the elite of all farming conferences; apart from myself there are some fantastic speakers that would not appear at any other event.

Are you nervous about speaking?

Yes, of course! I have done a little public speaking in my time but have never stood in front of so many people before.

Who looks after the farm while you’re away?

I am lucky that I run the various businesses with other members of the family. My father and uncle take care of the farm, my wife looks after the wholesaling business and my mother the shops. So it’s all in good hands.

Why have you gone into ready-meal production?

The total consumer spend on food in this country is about 127bn, total farm output is around 6.5bn. Convenience buying is also the fastest growing sector. With that in mind, it was fairly obvious that we had to move further up the food chain and capture a little more profit.

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