Cereals 2024 – 5 key moments from this year’s event

NFU stand at cereals

As another action-packed two days at Cereals come to a close, we’ve rounded up the top 5 moments you may have missed.

1. NFU President opens the show


In his opening address for the show, NFU President Tom Bradshaw reflected on what has been one of the most challenging years for the arable sector following months of devastating flooding and wet weather.

This is set against a backdrop of unsustainably high production costs, low market returns and the phasing out of BPS payments.

The NFU’s recent farmer confidence survey revealed confidence has reached record new lows with extreme weather cited as a leading concern, and “confidence is the key to food security,” Tom said.

However, there is “overwhelming public support” for the sector Tom added, referencing survey work for the NFU which found that:

  • 84% of people think food production targets are either as important, or more important, than environmental targets for farming.
  • 66% think that parties’ plans on farming will be one of the issues that affects who they vote for at the upcoming general election.

“While that is welcome, it doesn’t pay the bills,” Tom continued. “To deliver a profitable, progressive industry, we need policies that rebuild confidence.”

To find out what the NFU’s key asks of the next government are, take a look at our manifesto.

You can also keep track of what political parties have committed to by following our election timeline.

2. #YourHarvest campaign kicks off

The NFU’s 2024 #YourHarvest campaign officially launched on day one of Cereals.

“Being such a tough year makes this year’s #YourHarvest campaign more important than ever,” said NFU Combinable Crops Board chair Jamie Burrows ahead of the launch, adding that growers are “literally in the lap of the weather gods”.

Now in its sixth iteration, the campaign aims to promote and celebrate the work that arable farmers do at harvest time and their role in food production.

Find out how you can get involved.

3. NFU Sugar and British Sugar announce changes to seed model

During the ever-popular NFU Sugar hour on the NFU stand, the NFU Sugar Board members and team announced “ground-breaking changes” following reforms to the sugar beet seed model. 

The changes have been designed to give growers more choice and flexibility, support innovation and address recurring issues with growers’ access to seed, while preserving the most effective parts of the existing model.

Find out what these changes mean for you.

4. Digital passport – updated business case

Following the publication of an updated business case for a digital passport for combinable crops last week, NFU senior policy specialist Luke Cox and members of the NFU Combinable Crops Board were on hand to gather feedback from members.

The NFU set out five key principles that the digital passport must meet, which the National Crops Board believes the updated business case now does.

Find out how you can have your say on the updated business case.

5. Urban schoolchildren get a taste of farming

NFU Education took 60 secondary school students on a scavenger hunt of Cereals to explore the latest advancements in the world of arable farming as well as hands on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workshops led by Rothamsted Research, Omya and the NFU Education team.

NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos said inviting schoolchildren to Cereals is a “fantastic way of opening up our exciting industry to young people from non-farming backgrounds”.

Find out how they got on and read more on the work of NFU Education.

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