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We are now live with Agritech & The Future of Food. Thank you everyone who's logged in to join us.
There is not enough in the Agriculture Bill about food production. We need to be clear that we need to use every technology possible to produce good cereals, vegetables, meat etc competitively. @neil_parish
The PM has sympathy with farmers but he is determined to forge ahead with trade deals - so there will be more competition. @neil_parish
We need to produce food more efficiently and we are almost there with blight resistant crops, genotechnology, biotechnology, weed zapping robots etc. But it's not just to keep sheep and cows on the land; we need to make sure these businesses are profitable. @neil_parish
Does not see a long term programme of support and subsidy from the Treasury. We need to be profitable and that means maintaining high standards in intensive production and educating people that intensive farming is not necessarily a bad thing. @neil_parish
We need commercial competitive farmers who provide food in high quantity and high quality at a price people are willing to pay. @neil_parish
The scope of the Agricultural Trade Commission has not bee agreed yet. Neil is lobbying for an independent chair and independent members who fully understand the industry and issues it faces. @neil_parish
Professional development of the workforce is key to implementing new tech, as is attracting new talent into the industry with new ideas & new mindsets. We need to challenge the idea of what farming is and raise ambitions to attract the very best. Jeremy Kerswell @PlumptonCollege
🍓 Understanding food
🍓 Research into farming
🍓 Learning about nutrition
🍓 Learning how to cook

What @RosemaryShrager would include if she designs a national curriculum for food to educate consumers about quality, locality, seasonality and the link between nutrition & health
Many restaurants will not survive coronavirus. They cannot make money with half the customers and added costs of implementing new safety measures. This will also have an impact on the farmers, producers etc who supply them. @RosemaryShrager
Govt support for customers with health education, cookery education and public awareness will help the farming and food economy when consumers start making better choices for their health. @RosemaryShrager #buylocal #backbritishfarming
The rural sector punches above its weight and how we finance food is one way we can continue doing that. @CorrinoHLTA
90% of food businesses and farms are small and/or family businesses. Many have also diversified into other areas such as wedding venues, farm shops and glamping. @CorrinoHLTA
UK food, drink and catering exports are worth £226 billion per year. This needs to form part of our discussions with govt when sorting out trade deals. @CorrinoHLTA
To remain competitive food and farming needs to be resilient, investable and innovative. Agritech is one way in which businesses can achieve this. @CorrinoHLTA
People in the industry and new entrants will need new skills and land-based educators will have a key role in facilitating resilience, innovation and investability. @CorrinoHLTA
Food and farming are low margin businesses so finance options are limited - how can this be managed?

Develop a good relationship with your bank so they fully understand your business and environment. Manage your supply chain to negotiate a higher price for improved margin.
Govt needs to move much faster in evidencing traceability and provenance of the food in our shops when it comes to accurate labelling. We enjoy exotic food and spices so it is unrealistic to expect people to eat only British food. @neil_parish
Help is needed for agritech development!

There is not enough going on at govt & we haven't put enough money into a seed fund yet. It would be money well invested. We need to lobby hard and I'm happy to help. @neil_parish
We haven't focussed enough on the horticulture industry. Tech in production of high quality fruit and vegetables will help provide goof food to everybody regardless of income. @neil_parish
The margins in hort are wafer thin and Phil @Fourayes fears for the future as competition looks set to increase post-Brexit.
Rob Verkerk of @anhcampaign asks @neil_parish whether the National Food Strategy could become a PR exercise as trade deals steam ahead of the report?

Answer: the Food Strategy is not just lip service but it needs driving forward. Must make sure we don't trade away standards.
Jeremy Kerswell, Principal @PlumptonCollege adds that research and skills add to the UK's competitiveness and productivity. Billions have been pulled out of research over the past decade and it needs reistating, and also prioritising applied farm-based research.
Food is cheap in this country. We spend far less than ever before as a proportion of our income @Fourayes
Farming is perceived as being at the bottom of the food chain but it is the most important part. We should be at the top of the food chain! @Fourayes
The govt needs to step up so we can become more competitive and more food secure as a nation. Will we see the government come forward with grants for food processors? From Phil @Fourayes
Answer: we will need to lobby for this to support ourselves in the face of greater competition. The UK will be leaving the EU come hell or high water. @neil_parish
Thank you everyone who attended. It was a very informative discussion with fantastic levels of participation from the attendees. If you missed it, or would like to watch again please head to oir site where it will be in the Past Talks section from Monday.
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