Call for Collaboration

by 5m Editor
16 July 2009, at 1:14pm

UK - A call has gone out for collaboration between the industry, consumers and politicians in the face of current economic challenges to put the meat and agriculture industry in the right direction, writes ThePigSite senior editor Chris Harris.

Chairman of the British Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board John Bridge made the plea to government ministers and members of parliament during the annual AHDB summer barbecue in Westminster on Wednesday.

Mr Bridges said that it had been a challenging year for the organisation as it draws together all the levy boards under one organisation.

The AHDB, which encompasses the English Beef and Lamb Executive, the British Pig Executive, Dairy Co, the Potato Council, the cereals and oilseeds body HGCA and the horticultural development council, has been working over the last year to amalgamate the separate organisations and move the body to new headquarters at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire.

Mr Bridge said that the organisation had had a successful first year meeting the demands of all the programmes that had been set before it, in "challenging circumstances".

He said the organisation will concentrate it efforts on research and development and knowledge transfer, to ensure improvements down to farm level.

And he added that he also wanted to see a skills development from the lab to the farm.

He said that the organisation needed to "inspire the future", but to be successful the ADHB needs the collaboration of politicians, industry and consumers.

He said: "We are prepared to meet the challenges," and he called on the politicians to show the will and prove they are also willing to work for the food sector.

In reply the environment secretary Hilary Benn acknowledged the need for collaboration and he said: "We are up for the challenge".

He applauded the AHDB on the progress it had made in education and skills development and also other areas such as roadmaps for farm development in the pig industry.

He also applauded the development of schemes such as anaerobic digestion to deal with farm and food waste and called for more effort in areas such as these.