Re-coupling of support set to be farming’s biggest change

One of the biggest changes set to affect the agricultural industry in the next 3-4 years will be some form of re-coupling of support, according to Brian Pack, chief executive of meat-to-property business ANM Group.

Speaking at a Hasbro farm forum in Lanarkshire, Mr Pack said the suckler cow scheme recently announced by the Irish was one example of re-coupling.

“One thing I think will change our agricultural environment is the fact that Europe has lost sight of the fact that food production is key to our society.

“We are now down to about 90% self-sufficient in beef in Europe but I’m quite sure the politicians making the policy still believe we have beef mountains. They have lost track of the fact that production right across Europe has reduced,” said Mr Pack.

DEFRA had, he said, jumped onto the ‘one-planet’ bandwagon, focused on climate change and environmental measures but he said he was sure sustainable food supply would soon come in there bringing dramatic change.

And, despite cattle scarcity, he said he expected the price to steady.

“Cattle shortages are driving the price up but so far it is proving almost impossible to get enough back at the retail level to pay for that, so for the last few months the processors have been bearing the brunt of that price rise,” said Mr Pack.