News

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Pre Conference Supper, 22 November 2016

    Best Western Orton Hall Hotel, Peterborough PE2 7DNBest 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Agribusiness 2016 and laboratory meat production?

    It not so long ago that the first laboratory produced beef burger was hailed as either a break though in the production of meat or an expensive waste of time!

    Scientists took cells from a cow and, at an institute in the Netherlands, turned them into strips of muscle that they combined to make the burger. Since 2013 scientists have advanced this technology and are already producing laboratory produced milk and meat that has never seen the light of day.

    Is this is dawn of the next agricultural revolution or just pie in the sky? Could this development impact on your business in the future?

    Listen to Dr. Marianne Ellis of the University of Bath who will be discussing the latest advancements in this area and whether this will be a realistic proposition at Agribusiness 2016 “Accelerating the agriculture and food agenda”.

    The conference takes place on the 11 November in Peterborough with a pre-conference networking supper on the 10 November.

    Book your ticket now online or use the booking form.

  6. Make Agribusiness 2016 a date for your diary in November

    ‘Be sure you put November 11th – the date for Agribusiness 2016, the agri-supply industry conference – in your diary.’  That’s the message from the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).

    The theme for Agribusiness 2016 is ‘Accelerating the agriculture and food agenda’. It will feature leading political, scientific and business speakers within the agribusiness arena.

    AIC is pleased to announce that Tassos Haniotis, Director for Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluation in the Directorate General for Agriculture at the European Commission will be speaking.

    Other speakers confirmed include Beth Hart, Head of Product Development and Technology – Fresh Foods at Sainsbury’s, and leading economic analyst Sean Rickard. This year’s event will be chaired by Charlotte Smith from BBC Radio Four’s Farming Today programme.

    John Kelley, Managing Director at AIC Services said: “The speed of change has never been greater and UK agriculture has to accelerate its pace of change if it is to successfully compete. Key initiatives from the EU Commission on Agriculture and the UK AgriTech strategy will be covered, as well as the impact of a yes/no vote for membership of the EU, and a top-level view from a leading food retailer.

    “The Agribusiness conference focuses on information and inspiration for leaders in the agricultural supply industry, as well as providing an excellent opportunity for networking. It has become an essential date for those planning their strategy for the coming years.”

    Full details and booking form.

  7. Agribusiness 2016 – 11 November 2015

    Diary Date: Agribusiness 2016 will take place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on the 11 November 2015. This will be preceded by the pre conference supper on the 10 November 2015.

  8. Give Us the Tools to Deliver Sustainability

    Panel Session, Agribusiness 2015

    AIC CEO David Caffall, Parliamentary under Secretary of State George Eustice and UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew take part in a panel session at Agribusiness 2015.

    Technology is vital to environmental and economic sustainability for UK agriculture. This was the recurring message from speakers at this year’s Agribusiness 2015 conference organised by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).

    The theme of the conference was ‘Growing the sustainable agrisupply chain’. Speaker after speaker gave an upbeat view of industry prospects, but emphasised that access to technology was vital to sustainable delivery.

    Parliamentary under Secretary of State at Defra George Eustice delivered a positive message for the industry and confirmed that the UK Government is fully behind AIC’s drive towards a risk-based approach to European decision-making.

    “We need to retain key crop protection products and we recognise the threat to these, particularly endocrine disrupters,” he said. ”We believe that products should only be removed where there is a genuine risk, but we differ from other EU countries in this approach.”

    AIC Chief Executive David Caffall talked of the Confederation’s work in reducing the burden of regulation and the challenges ahead. Speaking during a panel session alongside George Eustice, he said: “Our target now is decision-makers in Europe. We have the support of the UK Government but we now need to mobilise Europe.”

    He had earlier announced the formation of ‘Food for Thought’, an alliance of European trade associations that will bring together the interests of agriculture alongside food and drink to provide increased lobbying power on cross-sector issues.

    The need for a fiscal regime that will encourage investment in innovative technology by UK agriculture was at the heart of the presentation by NFU President Meurig Raymond. While Chairman of the AHDB Peter Kendall set out an ambitious manifesto to make AHDB into a world-leading Centre of Excellence to provide access to the technological advances that UK agriculture needs.

    Suzanne Pera, Farm Inputs Analyst with Rabobank, described a view of the future where precision farming would increase both business efficiency and sustainability. She was confident that the new technologies could be applied across all sizes of enterprise including family farms, and was positive about farmers benefitting from the value created.

    Richard Heathcote of Cool Farm Alliance talked about the models for measuring on-farm sustainability, which have been developed with the support of major multi-nationals, and have already been applied on 100,000 farms. He said that neither technology nor ecology was the panacea for sustainability, but said that it is crucial to ‘measure in order to manage’.

    The conference was chaired by broadcaster and Farming Today presenter Sybil Ruscoe.

    AIC Chairman Jon Duffy said: “It was a thought-provoking and rewarding day. The quality of the speakers was probably the highest I have seen, and in Sybil Roscoe we had a chairwoman who engaged so successfully with the audience and stimulated some great debate”.

  9. Sustainability challenge

    Speakers for this years Agribusiness 2015 are dealing with the sustainability challenge within their organisations on an ongoing basis and have shared some of their thoughts on this topic ahead of them speaking at this year’s conference.

    Suzanne Pera, Farm Inputs Analyst with Rabobank International, says: “The global agriculture industry’s capacity to meet the world’s growing food demand is being stretched at the expense of the environment. A holistic long-term approach may be the key, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. I will be asking the question ‘What does it take to shift farmers’ focus away from yield maximisation towards input optimisation?’.”

    Additionally, Richard Heathcote of the Cool Farm Alliance says: “Today there are many sustainability challenges and it is critical that we understand the impacts of everything we do. There are numerous initiatives including agri environment and compliance schemes, and standards that are pointing farmers towards positive change. In all cases we have to ask ‘Are the initiatives working?’ and ‘Are we becoming more sustainable?’