‘Put more British food on British plates’: AHDB boss

‘Putting more British food on more British plates,’ was Kendall’s recommendation

The UK needs a new farm policy, designed to boost consumption of domestically-produced food, to prepare the sector for life outside the EU, according to the chair of the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) Sir Peter Kendall.

“If I was looking for an ambition for a new agricultural policy it would be to put more British food on more British plates at each and every price point,” Kendall told a meeting organised by the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) last week.

The AHDB boss highlighted the need for a new UK food and farming policy, following the UK’s historic decision to quit the EU last month.

“We do face a monumental piece of work to rebuild agricultural policy and plan for the future,” he said.

‘Face a monumental piece of work’

“The idea of carrying on with the same traditional [levels of] support is part of the past, not part of the future [after Brexit].”

However, there would be “continued support for ambitious plans”, he predicted.

Setting out the path ahead, Kendall said: “I want to see a food industry that is more dynamic and more responsive to the market.”

The former president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) disclosed he was backing his faith in UK food production with an investment in a new poultry production unit, in partnership with his brother, at the family’s Bedfordshire farm.

But his optimism for the future of UK food production was tempered by an acknowledgment of the greater emphasis likely to fall on market forces when the UK finally left the EU.

“We all know in business that the market will out,” said Kendall. “My concern is that when markets have their way it often has brutal and unintended consequences.”

‘Brutal and intended consequences’

Kendall foresaw a pivotal role for the AHDB in coordinating agricultural research and development and helping farmers to become more efficient. But to deliver that role, it was essential that AHDB levy payers – farmers and processors – “put money into our industry”, he said.

The board also had a key role in helping the industry communicate with one voice to government, he continued.

“And the AHDB has commissioned more work on consumer insight, in order to understand the direction in which consumers’ preferences are moving. Rather than the old message of us selling what farmers want to produce.”

Kendall was speaking at the PTF annual general meeting lunch in London on Tuesday June 28.

Speaking at the same meeting, an EU insider warned that a trade deal between the UK and EU would probably be delayed by east European Member States’ insistence on the rights of their nationals to work in this country.

Read why Kendall’s colleague AHDB chief executive Jane King told Food Manufacture the whole food supply chain would benefit from reform of the organisation she leads.

Meanwhile, last week NFU president Meurig Raymond said the government must not ignore the economic importance of the farming sector. It was “the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink”, which was worth £108bn and employed 3.9M people.

“NFU Council has today agreed the principles of a domestic farming policy which will now form the basis of the biggest farming consultation in England and Wales for a generation,” said Raymond.


Life without the Common Agricultural Policy

“If you look at sectors that have no agricultural support, they are pretty intensive and quite large-scale. Look at horticulture, pigs and poultry. You have quite large structures being developed. From a personal point of view, I don’t think that is where we want to be in British agriculture.”

  • Peter Kendall, AHDB chair

Related News

Rick Pendrous, editor of Food Manufacture

Food sector licks its wounds after Brexit

Food firms could face a bill of at least £2,675 to recruit every foreign worker

Food firms to pay ‘£2,675 for every foreign worker’

The FDF has launched a six-point Brexit manifesto

FDF launches six-step manifesto to ease Brexit

ABF has benefited from the weakened pound after Britain’s shock Brexit vote

Associated British Foods benefits from Brexit

The CPRE was accused of not thinking about food security in its New model farming paper

UK farming report slammed by National Farmers Union

More needs to be done to reduce antibiotic use in global pig production

Antibiotics in pigs next to be tackled

Kingsmill owner ABF has announced a rise in operating profits

ABF posts growth ahead of end of year results

Meurig Raymond called for a European equivalent to the Groceries Code Adjudicator

Euro grocery boss idea divides opinion

Nick Allen has been appointed BMPA chief executive

Meat association appoints AHDB director

AHDB has appointed its first halal sector manager

First halal manager appointed by AHDB

Policy experts have called for a coherent food policy as dark clouds gather

UK food policy is urgently needed

Members of the beef and lamb industry have called for a review of the carcase classification system

Industry calls for carcase classification review

Eustice: expects UK production to drop by around 4% in the coming year

UK dairy recovering after ‘dreadful’ two years: minister

A more integrated supply chain is needed post Brexit, argues Tsinopoulos

Brexit: food firms need integrated supply chains

Supermarket prices could remain stable after Brexit, said Gherardo Girard

Brexit could result in ‘stable food prices’ but views differ

The exporters' association fears a euro backlash against British products

Brexit risks euro backlash against British goods

Brexit will sink consumers' confidence warned Old Speckled Hen brewer Greene King

Greene King warns of fall in consumer confidence over Brexit

A UK trade deal with the EU could be frustrated by 'east European vested interests'

EU trade deal to be delayed by ‘east Europeans’

Brexit has put Cornish pasties, clotted cream and Staffordshire cheese at risk

Brexit: ‘knock off’ protected food status threat

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.