Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:12 pm on 25th October 2018.

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Helen Browning:

We are really struggling in some areas in particular. Arable crops and protein crops for feed, in particular, are in very short supply in the UK. We could triple or quadruple the amount we produce—probably more than that—and still not meet the market demand here; so there is a big opportunity.

It does require some structural changes for those big arable farms that are currently probably not thinking about it. They need to be thinking about reintroducing, probably, livestock to their farms. It would be a jolly good thing in a lot of those farms in the east of England. So there are some structural issues, but I think a real focus on encouraging more farmers in, where there is a clear market, would be really helpful. You have got to make sure it is market-led, clearly, but in some areas the market is massively under-supplied. There are great export opportunities too. I think it would be a key part of a vibrant future for the countryside if we were to get behind organic farming more thoroughly —and agroforestry, as I mentioned earlier.