Resilience and rewilding on the debating table for CLA at Oxford Real Farming Conference

06 January 2017

Speaking on a panel at the annual Oxford Real Farming Conference about how to build farm resilience, CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said: "Farmers must take responsibility and ensure they have the right business skills to survive once the UK leaves the EU.

“Remember you are running a business, not a hobby, and you must act like a business. Make sure you have an effective business plan, diversify where possible and understand your cash flow. It is critical to have these business skills as well as farming knowledge in order to build resilience and survive post-Brexit.

“Farmers cannot expect significant levels of government support to maintain the sector unless they have done all they can to improve the resilience of their businesses themselves."

Mr Price urged delegates to remember the full range of things farmers can provide and to fight for a reward for “every single one of them”.

In the same session, while debating if rewilding in Britain could restore life support systems, Mr Price stated there was absolutely no conflict between improving the natural environment and the production of high quality food.

He said: “There is misplaced concern over reintroduction but rewilding is just nature conservation. Bringing back pine martens to Wales is a fantastic example of successful reintroduction.”

He said bringing species back on a landscape scale like CLA member Charlie Burrell at Knepp Castle is most effective but that reintroduction must also make economic sense and that it is essential to have an exit strategy in case things don’t work out.