Never before has farming faced so many challenges: the pressure to feed a burgeoning population, climate issues, the growth of veganism and increasingly urban populations, price pressures, Brexit and so much more. Farming in today’s environment is undeniably a challenge, and sadly I fear any farmers not adapting to the changing environment may pay the ultimate price.
As a businessman, as well as a farmer, my response to this is how can we ameliorate this risk? How can we draw on the experiences of other industries to help us overcome the challenges?
The role of us all is to look after each other. Employers, staff, neighbours, people in the industry -we all face difficult times especially with mental health and health and well being. It’s important we consider those around us and how we can help support each other. The Worshipful Company of Farmers’ recent ‘Health & Wellbeing Research Report’ published in April 2019 highlights the challenges around mental health, long working hours and rural isolation. It makes recommendations to support each other through support groups and evidence-based learning, encourage collaboration and introduce a nationwide programme like FarmStrong in New Zealand.
The future of farming is two fold for me: it’s supporting and working together through the challenging times and celebrating the good times; and about combining scale for efficiencies of economies and specialism to build value. Supporting each other, blending the latest research with practical agricultural knowledge, and implementing best practice farming techniques all help underpin a strong industry foundation to create premiums, increase yield, reduce inputs and protect our countryside that we can all benefit from.
I’ve travelled extensively over the years to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the US, China, Canada and India to see first hand the application of innovative farming techniques which we’ve been able to adopt and develop to the benefit of our customers and our own farms.
That experience, in particular, was the motivation for me to drive P.X. Farms to be a leading innovator in arable farming here in the UK. And to be a business that can credibly and capably support others to give farming a future.
A key driver for me is to ensure we make money for our customers and remain profitable for future stability. Though innovating can be costly and you might fail, it’s what you do next and how you adapt that is crucial.
We’re a professional and highly skilled agribusiness dedicated to ensuring profitability for both our clients and our family farm, whilst working in harmony with the countryside.