High time to champion Brand Britain – Nick Grayson

Nick GraysonIn this blog post, the Vice Chair of Future Farmers Nick Grayson explores ‘Brand Britain’ which will be the hot topic of discussion at the group’s Breakfast Meeting at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Wow! It feels great to be able to write about attending the 2021 Great Yorkshire Show.

Such an iconic tradition in the Yorkshire calendar seemed so out of reach just a few weeks ago but the whole team at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society have worked tirelessly to make it happen.

The show, for many, will symbolise the light at the end of the tunnel on such a long and lonely 18 months. The fact the team have managed to pull it off is a beacon of hope to us all.

I became Vice Chair of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire during the pandemic, so the Breakfast Meeting is my first real opportunity to catch up with our members face to face.

The Breakfast Meeting will be held at the picnic area marquee on Avenue L, near White Gate, from 7.30-9.00am and this year it is being kindly sponsored by Northern Powergrid. I hope to see many of you there.

Trade deals

We have heard so much recently regarding the Australian trade deal, but for many of us the detail remains unclear. Regardless of the level of effect this trade deal has on British agriculture, it sets a precedent for all other trade negotiations moving forward.

So, our chosen topic for this year’s meeting is: “Brand Britain on agriculture’s global stage”. We have a fantastic line up of speakers whom I am sure will provide a lively debate.

But what is brand Britain? This is exactly what the government needs to decide on going forward. We, as farmers, have always prided ourselves by producing goods to some of the highest standards in the world.

Yet, with the latest trade negotiations in mind, surely this is the ‘brand’ Britain wants to market themselves as moving forward?

Is our government expecting British farmers to step away from such high welfare production methods to be able to compete successfully in the global market?

Or will it see us turning the British countryside into a giant nature reserve, whilst importing all of our food needs in from countries with lower production standards, with much larger environmental impacts but at much lower prices than ours.

Rural communities have been built around these farms that care for the landscape we know and love, yet these same farms face being deserted if they cannot compete on the global stage we’re being dragged onto.

With little emphasis on food production in the Agricultural Bill it would seem the government have little of their own ideas for ‘Brand Britain’.

Opportunity beckons with the right ‘brand’

With a coherent and joined up marketing strategy from the UK government, agricultural levy bodies, farmers and retailers, ‘Brand Britain’ could have some serious potential both at home and abroad.

I believe, if the British consumer understands exactly why our produce is better than other countries, and get them supporting our brand, the first battle is won.

We need to be shouting about how brilliant our farmers are! The recent TV series by Jeremy Clarkson, love him or hate him, has done so much for British farmers recently.

Highlighting the highs and lows and explaining exactly what we are up against. We need more ‘heavyweights’ getting involved and building our brand, rather than them endorsing soya products flown in from South America.

So, on that note, if you fancy hearing more about what our industry experts have to say on the matter, make sure you come along to the breakfast meeting and enjoy a complimentary bacon (British of course!) butty.

To register for a free place, CLICK HERE. A pre-booked Wednesday show ticket or YAS membership will be required to gain admission to the showground.

Book: Farmer Time at the Great Yorkshire Show – register now

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