I am a farmer and a keen cricketer (though not a high standard player by anyone’s account). I love playing the game and find all its nuances and foibles fascinating but right now, there are certain cricketing analogies I’d like to draw with the situation this country finds itself in.
Author: Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown is a Rutland farmer born and bred. He is a past High Sheriff of Rutland. He also sits on the Leicestershire and Rutland bench as a magistrate. The farm is 60% arable and 40% permanent pasture. The farm is in a major conservation scheme which has planted pollen and nectar strips and wild birdseed plots as well as installing a permissive bridleway for local residents and a 3Ha community woodland. The farm has won several local, regional and national awards for his conservation work whilst maintaining a viable and productive commercial farm. He hosts school trips and goes into schools to promote British food and farming. He is a former NFU East Midlands Regional Chairman. He has been on the Board of the HGCA and is on Farmers Club Committee and former Chair of Membership and is a Professional Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Management, a member of the Commercial Farmers Group, the Worshipful Company of Farmers and has achieved the status of Chartered Environmentalist. He has been awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies. He is a Freeman of the City of London, a former Trustee of the Rutland Agricultural Society and current trustee of the Leicester Comedy Festival. In 2017 he won the Leicester Comedy Festival ‘Stand-up Challenge’ and has done comedy gigs in various locations around the country and even as far afield as Tasmania. As well as having an engineering degree he has recently gained a post graduate law degree with merit from De Montfort University. He states that, ‘Good farming practice and good environmental practice go hand in hand, and it is essential we get the message across to the public that UK farmers produce some of the best agricultural products in the world to the highest standards of welfare and the environment, and with climate change and population growth, farmers must step up to the mark to help feed the world without destroying it’.
The UK holds very few cards and I can imagine the US being like Private Walker rubbing his hands with glee as he spots a desperate punter to take advantage of. We are constantly told that nothing will be allowed in that is below our high standards. If this is true then why are thousands of tonnes of oilseed rape being allowed in that have been grown using neonicotinoids? Will this stop at the end of the transition period? I doubt it. How can we trust the Government without it being law? They promised oven ready deals with the European Union (EU), and told us it would be the easiest thing in the world to make an agreement, and farmers would get more support payments.