Cheap food versus the health of our farming sector?

There can be only one winner in that argument, according to a report from a think tank published this week, calling for a New Zealand-style radical reform of the UK’s farm subsidy system after we leave the EU.

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In this week’s Farm Business, that argument is explored and concludes that moving to a policy where we pursue our food on the basis of cost on the global market would be a disastrous policy, and not just because of the damage it would wreak on rural communities. As a nation, we need to retain control over our food production, I argue.

The latest edition also explores Defra Secretary Michael Gove’s hard-hitting comments on the need for action to protect our soils for the future, a clear hint at where some of his thinking on future farm policy lies. Without it, we might only have another 20 to 40 harvests left.

Richard Wright tries to make sense of the extraordinary political uncertainty over the future of glyphosate – it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious, he points out.

Finally AHDB’s Phil Bicknell explains why we need to analyse all the possible economic implications of Brexit, while we also have some fascinating insight from Pat Bird on the latest on trials of badger vaccination in Ireland.

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.