147.Farmers face uncertainty in the short-term, with unpredictable demand in global markets affecting worldwide prices for agricultural prices. None the less, the future picture is not all dark. There is a general expectation that worldwide demand will be driven by population size and economic growth.
148.Farmers need to work together to create opportunities for themselves. The agricultural industry has a significant responsibility for its own future and is generally better placed than the Government to lead change and build a strong resilient industry in the UK. While most farmers are sole traders, they must recognise and utilise the power they have in working together. In order to stop price volatility affecting them long-term, farmers may need to change their thinking and develop mechanisms that allow them to develop long-term stability, such as Producer Organisations or a futures market.
149.Opportunities exist for the UK agricultural industry to learn lessons and improve its returns as a result. British farmers and processors must seize opportunities for domestic and global opportunities. The agricultural industry must move to new and innovative products that respond to new consumer needs and add value to the benefit of the whole supply chain. Exports represents a huge opportunity for revenue expansion.
150.Producers, processors and purchasers must work together and develop a trust relationship. Now is the time for all parts of the supply chain to show their support for the agricultural industry. They must work together to develop a strategic relationship and to maintain a competitive edge.
151.We hope that the measures proposed give some indication of the way forward. There is no reason why the UK agricultural industry cannot seize the opportunities that are being made available.
136 Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board ()
Prepared 25 February 2016