Thousands of farmers are to be asked to help decide the future of the Royal Show – one of the country’s flagship agricultural events.
The decision came after the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), which owns the Stoneleigh Park showground in Warwickshire, dissolved its two-year partnership with Haymarket Exhibitions, which has organised the show for the past two years.
The split sees Haymarket take full ownership of the Cereals event, incorporating Sprays and Sprayers. It leaves RASE with control of the Royal Show, Town & Country Festival, Pig & Poultry Fair and Grassland Event.
A consultation to decide the direction of the Royal Show will now be launched by the society. Views will be canvassed from across the industry.
RASE chairman Thomas Wheatley-Hubbard said the consultation would also seek to establish ways that farmers and landowners could best receive the information needed to understand and adapt to new business opportunities and changes in agriculture.
“We are keen for everyone in the industry to get involved and help us shape the future,” said Mr Wheatley-Hubbard. But it should be remembered that the Royal Show was just one part of a range of activities carried out by RASE in serving the sector, he added.
The society wanted to encourage the uptake of good science, promote best business practice, emphasise sustainability and link closely with education to foster understanding and a sense of pride in the English rural economy.
“Our experience of working with partner organisations and our ability to draw together diverse views and opinions puts us in the ideal position to help steer the agricultural sector towards a successful future.”
Dominique Loral of Haymarket confirmed that a deal had been signed with RASE on 16 October.
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