Less UK land will be used for farming in future, landowners’ leader predicts
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Less of UK land will be used for traditional farming in the future, a landowners’ leader will tell a conference today (Tuesday, November 28).
Essex and Cambridgeshire farmer Tim Breitmeyer, the new president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) will tell 500 industry leaders that landowners must prepare for a changing world.
The CLA, which represents over 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses across England and Wales, believes farmers will need to produce more high quality food using less land and dedicate more of the countryside to other uses such as natural resource protection, a landscape for everyone to continue to enjoy, and homes building.
“Leaving the EU will be a defining moment for farming. Farmers will not have the luxury of being able to carry on doing the same thing year-in-year-out as they have done before,” he said.
“It will soon be time for every landowning farmer to make choices about whether their land is delivering the best income opportunities, whether they need to farm differently, or use the land for other purposes.
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“Farming is vital to our future prosperity as a nation. Producing enough high-quality food is our overriding purpose, but we have to be smart. Technology and scientific advances allow us to farm in new ways, to examine closely field by field where our land is and is not productive, to use chemicals more efficiently and manage breeding and welfare better than ever before.”
The CLA’s new Redefining Farming report looks at how landowning farm businesses are adapting for the future.
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Mr Breitmeyer, who will be addressing the second annual CLA Rural Business Conference in Westminster, said exiting the Common Agricultural Policy was an opportunity to direct more investment into making farming more productive and profitable.
It is also a chance to transform the business opportunities for farmers and landowners to derive a fair income for vital work that benefits the public, from addressing climate change and encouraging biodiversity to managing the landscape.”
The event will also hear from environment secretary Michael Gove and environmentalist Sir Tim Smit.
CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “We are heading into a period of significant change. It will bring challenges and opportunities and it is the right time for those in the farming sector in the East of England, and across the country, to be considering how they will be agile and adapt to the changing world in which they will operating.”