Birmingham: East Anglian farmers head to NFU annual conference

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson who will be at the NFU annual conference

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson who will be at the NFU annual conference - Credit: PA

More than 80 East Anglian farmers are in Birmingham next week for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) annual conference

The horsemeat scandal, and the challenges of farming in today’s global economy are set to take centre stage, under the heading ‘Farming Delivers in Uncertain Times’ at the two-day event, which is taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) from Wednesday.

With the horsemeat scandal continuing to hit the headlines, delegates will have the chance to question two key figures in the crisis – the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Secretary of State Owen Paterson and Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke.

Mr Paterson is speaking during the opening session and Mr Clarke is speaking in the afternoon on Wednesday, alongside CBI Director General John Cridland, discussing how farming can deliver for the economy.

Other speakers include shadow farming minister Huw Irranca-Davies and Warren Anderson, supply chain director for McDonalds.

The conference will examine how farmers can better protect themselves against Britain’s unpredictable weather as well, with East Anglian-based NFU national water resources specialist Paul Hammett among those speaking at a workshop on the second day.