News

  1. Collaboration and innovation will be key for agrisupply chains post-Brexit

    Collaboration and innovation emerged as key themes at the Agricultural Industries Confederation’s Agribusiness 2019 conference, held against the backdrop of hourly news on Brexit.

    Addressing the theme of ‘Creating a resilient UK Agri-food supply chain’, key speakers, including NFU President Minette Batters and Sir Peter Kendall, talked of the need for collaborative work across the food and farming sectors. Sir Peter, in his role as a member of the Food and Drink Council, called on the delegates who were senior figures in the agrisupply industry to work together to establish priorities that will address the need for increased productivity in the sector.

    On the topic of the Agriculture Bill making its way through Parliament, Mrs Batters said: “Nothing wrong with the Agricultural Bill – it’s the policy around it that will define the future of UK Agriculture.”

    AIC Chief Executive Robert Sheasby highlighted the high level of engagement that the Confederation across the food chain, from the supply of inputs and professional advice to farms through to the role of the AIC assurance schemes that underpin traceability along with food and feed safety.

    During the conference delegates took part in several polls. There was a degree of optimism about post-Brexit Britain with 50 percent agreeing that ‘Brexit will provide more opportunities than threats post Brexit for the agrisupply, farming and food supply chain’.

    However, more worryingly 65 per cent disagreed with the statement ‘Farmers will be in a position to secure all their agrisupply inputs post 30 March 2019’, and 56% disagreed with the statement ‘Defra will secure a good deal for UK agriculture and the agrisupply industry post March 2019.’

    Other speakers at the conference, included Alison Ismail, Acting Director of Defra’s Agri-Food Chain Directorate who told the conference that Defra had an ambition to see more food grown and sold in the UK. Gemma Cooper from Neilsen provided an insight into consumer trends, and leaders from two AgriTech Centres: Fraser Black from CHAP (Crop Health and Protection), and Lindsay Chapman from CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock) spoke on progress in the AgriTech initiatives.

    AIC Chief Operating Officer John Kelley said: “This was one of the best attended conference in recent years with high levels of audience participation. While there is clearly uncertainty about the position for agricultural inputs post-Brexit and the ability of Defra to deliver the support required, there was lots of good news concerning innovation and collaboration for the future.

  2. Agribusiness 2019 – 14 November 2018

    Agribusiness 2019 “Creating a Resilient UK Agri-food supply chain” is fast approaching and never has there been a more valuable use of your time than to attend this AIC conference. One of the keynote speakers – Sir Peter Kendall, Chairman of AHDB has commented:

    “We are living in the most unpredictable environment in living memory. The industry needs to look at itself from the ground up to ensure the very best structures and relationships are in place to not only survive these challenges but also maximise opportunities”

    Peter will expand upon this at Agribusiness 2019, representing both the views of the AHDB and the productivity work he is carrying out on behalf of UK agriculture and the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

  3. Agribusiness 2019 to explore post-Brexit opportunities

    The opportunities for British agriculture post-Brexit will be top of the agenda for this year’s Agribusiness conference organised by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). The conference, to be held on November 14th at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, takes the theme of ‘Creating a resilient UK Agri-food supply chain.’

    John Kelley, AIC’s Chief Operating Officer and conference organiser, said: “For the first time in decades, there will be a national agricultural policy and strategy which will look to balance vital food production against an enhanced environment. We have asked our speakers to take a broad look at what the future may hold for UK agribusiness and the food and feed supply chains.

    “We will also explore how consumer trends are changing – an essential factor in looking to the future. And, of course, we will examine the opportunities that will be generated for the agri-supply industry to play its part in forging a truly resilient supply chain.

    Speakers already confirmed include the AIC Chief Executive Robert Sheasby; Minette Batters, NFU; Sir Peter Kendall, AHDB; Gemma Cooper from Nielsen Marketing; Fraser Black, Chief Executive of agricultural innovations centre Crop Protection and Health; and Lyndsay Chapman, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Innovation & Excellence in Livestock.

    The conference will be chaired by Charlotte Smith of BBC Farming Today.

    Tickets and further information can be obtained from the Agribusiness 2019 website (www.agribusiness.org.uk) or from Debbie Walker at: debbie.walker@agindustries.org.uk.

    Ends

    Further information
    John Kelley
    01733 385260
    john.kelley@agindustries.org.uk

    Issued by
    Geoff Dodgson, Dodgson Consulting
    07710 379 561
    geoff@dodgson.info

  4. Agribusiness 2018 – 08 November 2017

    3 October 2017

    Agribusiness 2018 – “Taking a lead in Agri-Food Policy post Brexit” will cover some of the critical areas that AIC and others within the supply chain are negotiating with the various government departments.

    There has never been a more important time negotiate the position of the agri-supply industry and Agribusiness 2018 has attracted a group of high profile speakers from the Government, industry and stakeholders.

    Areas that will be covered are agricultural policy both in the UK and EU, trade, labour, research & development as well as a host of other critical Brexit issues. An update from the Agri-Brexit coalition will also be given.

    The Agribusiness booking form and further information can be found on the Agribusiness website.

    AIC members are urged to attend and we look forward to welcoming you to Agribusiness 2018. Agribusiness 2018 is preceded by the pre-conference supper and networking event at Orton Hall on the 07 November.

    If you have any further queries please contact:

    Debbie Walker: debbie.walker@agindustries.org.uk

  5. Agribusiness 2018 ‘Taking a lead in Agri-Food Policy post Brexit’

    19 June 2017

    This year, Agribusiness, the annual event for the UK agrisupply industry, takes the theme of ‘Taking a lead in Agri-Food Policy post Brexit’ with a strong line-up of speakers to lead the Brexit discussion in the area of agribusiness, agriculture and food. The event takes place at the East of England Showground on 8 November 2017.

    With UK:EU negotiations due in earnest this month AIC has drawn up an agenda that captures some of the lead Brexit speakers.

    There are many aspects to Brexit negotiations. Some of the most important ones that will impact food and agriculture are trade, policy, research and labour.

    Keynote speakers include:

    Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation has led the discussions on the importance of UK food manufacturing and production both at a UK and EU level.

    Meurig Raymond, NFU President will present the view of NFU members as agriculture has the most to gain or lose from Brexit negotiations.

    David Caffall, Chief Executive AIC will represent the agrisupply industry and outline the work of the Agri-Brexit Coalition.

    Trade is vital to both agriculture and food as Allie Renison, Head of Europe & Trade Policy Institute of Directors will explain. Dr Andy Cureton will represent the British Biotechology Science Research Council and will discuss the impact on Brexit on innovation and research funding.

    Labour requirements both within agriculture and the food industry are huge and the impact of Brexit in this area will be covered by David Camp, Chief Executive Association of Labour Providers.

    Agribusiness 2018 will be chaired by Anna Hill, a regular BBC presenter on food and farming matters.

    In the light of the recent Cabinet reshuffle, an invitation to speak has also been extended to incoming Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove.

    Commenting on Agribusiness 2018, John Kelley, Chief Operating Officer, AIC said “Once again this year’s Agribusiness is the most important conference that is dedicated to the agrisupply and allied industries and it is vital to attend to hear the leading UK speakers as well as networking with keys movers and shakers within the industry”

    ENDS

    Further information
    John Kelley
    01733 385230
    john.kelley@agindustries.org.uk

    Issued by
    Geoff Dodgson
    07710 379561
    geoff@dodgson.info

    Notes

    Agribusiness 2018 “Taking a lead in Agri-Food Policy post Brexit” 08 November 2017, East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE26XE

    Pre Conference Networking Supper 07 November 2017, Orton Hall, Peterborough, PE2 7DN

  6. Agribusiness 2017 prepares for revolution

    ‘Driving today’s agricultural revolution’ will be the theme of Agribusiness 2017, the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Annual Conference. The Conference will take place on November 23rd at the East of England Showground.

    John Kelley, AIC’s Chief Operating Officer said: “Agriculture, like many sectors of the UK and global economy, is going through a huge transition. Whether it’s internal processes or the changing external environment, business must lead and react to secure on-going success.

    “Agriculture’s green revolution has been surpassed, now we face the ‘digital revolution’. There is much talk of ‘Big Data’ within agriculture, and this will continue to revolutionise business. The constant challenge is keeping up with innovative technologies and products as they enter the agri-supply chain.

    “In addition, BREXIT and the renegotiations with the EU will be a key feature that shapes the future of agriculture and agribusiness in the UK, and could lead to seismic change. The conference speakers will include Minister of State for Agriculture George Eustice, who was a leading pro-leave campaigner.

    “Agribusiness 2017 will seek to address these key issues from a political, technological and business standpoint.”

    The Conference will be chaired by former BBC Breakfast Business presenter Declan Curry. As well as Defra Minister, George Eustice; speakers will include: Oliver McEntyre, National Strategy Director for Barclays Agriculture; Tom Hind, Chief Strategy Officer, AHDB; Professor Daniel Morton from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; and Dr. Christobal Uauy from the John Innes Centre.

    Early bird booking discounts are available until September 23rd.

    Full details and booking form

  7. Pre Conference Supper, 22 November 2016

    Best Western Orton Hall Hotel, Peterborough PE2 7DN

    The Agribusiness pre-conference supper will once again be held at the picturesque Orton Hall Hotel in Peterborough. This informal supper provides delegates with a unique opportunity to meet others and network before the conference commences.

    AIC Chief Executive David Caffall and other members of the AIC team will be happy to answer any questions delegates may have. Several of the external conference speakers will also attend. This is a great opportunity for Chief Executives and management teams from leading agribusinesses to meet on an informal basis and network.

    The event begins with pre-conference reception drinks at 7.15pm followed by dinner at 7.45pm. Best Western Orton Hall Hotel, The Village, Orton Longueville, Peterborough PE2 7DN. Enquiries 01733 391111.

  8. Speakers outline challenging future at AIC conference

    Preparing for a challenging future was a common theme for speakers at this year’s AgriBusiness conference organised by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). AgriBusiness 2016, which was held at the East of England showground, took as its theme ‘Accelerating the agriculture and food agenda’.

    Beth Hart, Head of Product development and Technology – Fresh Foods, Sainsbury’s gave delegates a stark view of the dynamic, highly competitive state of retailing. She reviewed a situation over the past few years that saw the recession coming together with the advent of discount retailers in the UK. As a result of changes in consumer behaviour she said that £1.4 billion worth of sales had disappeared which would never come back.

    Leading economist Sean Rickard explored what life outside the EU would look like for agriculture, as well as predicting that further consolidation across the supply chain, and particularly for farmers, was inevitable. He said that even with European support only 64 per cent of farming businesses are in a position to make money. Increased scale was the only way for farmers to be sustainable.

    AIC Chief Executive David Caffall gave a flavour of the more than 100 issues currently being addressed by the AIC. He spoke during a session that included Flavio Coturni, Head of Unit for ‘Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives’ at the European Commission. Speaking in the panel session that followed, David drew attention to the fact that many European standards needlessly surpass other global standards, and by a degree of magnitude, which disadvantages European agribusinesses.

    Other speakers were Dr. Stephen Axford, Head of Agritech Strategy, Ricardo Arioli Silva, a Brazilian soya farmer, and Dr. Marianne Ellis, from the University of Bath, whose future view included the possibility of laboratory meat production.

    “This was perhaps our most far reaching event yet; both in terms of the topics covered and the international nature of our speakers. This reflects the increasingly complex and global nature of the agricultural supply industry in which AICs’ Members operate,” said AIC Chief Operating Officer John Kelley who led the conference organising team.

    Presentations and videos of the conference speeches are available to download from the agenda page.