AHDB has said it plans to increase the impact of its activities in Scotland through further collaboration with key partners.
Speaking during a recent AHDB Board visit to Scotland CEO Jane King said the organisation wanted to build on the success of current programmes to help Scottish businesses improve their productivity, competitiveness and resilience, and ensure they can survive and thrive after Brexit.
She said: “We believe that collaboration is key to the future sustainability of the farming sector across the UK, both at farm level and for organisations such as AHDB.
“In Scotland we work not only with bodies such as Quality Meat Scotland and SRUC but with research institutes, NFUS and of course the Scottish Government. However with Brexit on the horizon we want to strengthen those ties to ramp up the rate of improvement of the agriculture sector in Scotland.”
AHDB’s Chief Strategy Officer Tom Hind outlined AHDB’s work on Brexit including an upcoming a report solely focused on Scotland.
He said: “We have provided the industry with a good amount of much needed evidence and information on Brexit. Our next piece of work is the most significant piece of impact assessment of Brexit scenarios on our key farming sectors. We’re also taking a specific look on opportunities and threats for Scottish agriculture and horticulture, working with QMS and SAC Consulting.
“Moving forward we will be concentrating on helping farmers and growers make conscious, proactive decisions to ensure their businesses can thrive during and after Brexit. The last thing we want is for people to sleepwalk into Brexit without taking account of, and adapting to, the changing environment.”
Tom is due to present an update on Brexit at NFUS’s autumn congress on 27 October.
Another key tool which should have a beneficial impact on the Scottish industry is Farmbench, a new benchmarking system due to be rolled out across the UK later this autumn, which allows farmers and growers to understand and compare costs of production at both enterprise and whole farm level. Costs can be split across beef, sheep, potato and arable enterprises with dairy coming online in 2018.
Jane said: “We are really excited about the possibilities Farmbench offers in terms of improving the industry’s long term competitiveness and resilience and we are committed to ensuring as many farmers as possible register for the programme which can make a genuine difference to the bottom line through an improved understanding of fixed and variable costs.”
More information on Farmbench can be found at; farmbench.ahdb.org.uk. AHDB Horizon briefings can be accessed online at; ahdb.org.uk/brexit.