The NFU’s annual Henry Plumb Lecture took place last night (26 November) at the Royal Society in London.
Lord Mark Price, former Minister for Trade and Investment and managing director of Waitrose, shared his thoughts on Brexit and the future of food, farming and retail with an audience of 130 industry leaders, stakeholders, government and members of the press.
Concluding the lecture, Lord Price said:
“Better collective buying and selling to my mind are now key requirements. And here I think the NFU has a vital role to play in bringing farmers together to look outwards, to understand the threats and embrace the opportunities.
“After defending its people, a government’s next highest priority is to feed its people. Everything we have become used to is about to change. I would suggest there is no time to waste in developing a new globally minded approach and prepare to become match-fit to win a new global game.
“For the human condition, for business and society to thrive, the future needs to look brighter than the past. I hope that shortly we can all start to paint that brighter picture.”
NFU Director General Terry Jones, who chaired the session, said:
“Lord Price is recognised as one of the leading voices in the food and retail sector and his predictions for the future pose both opportunities and challenges for British farming.
“He rightly identifies the role of the NFU to bring together farmers to look towards the future. This has been one of the key principles the NFU has always worked to and we will continue to do as we move towards farming in a post-Brexit world.
“The NFU has been very clear that any future trade deals struck must not serve to undermine the high standards British farmers produce to. It is crucial that our high standards are maintained and protected.
“What Lord Price made abundantly clear in his remarks is how important it is for a nation to have the ability to feed its own people. The NFU is working hard to make the case for home-grown food and how the strategic importance of domestic food security cannot be overlooked.”