Future Farmers of Yorkshire will hold their Autumn Debate, entitled ‘Ploughing on Through High Inflation’ on Thursday 1st December 2022.
All are welcome to attend what promises to be a fascinating discussion and opportunity to network with others in the industry.
Here, Future Farmer Board Member Ian Pennock, pictured below, previews the evening event by explaining the choice of topic.
A timely topic
What could be better to kick-start Advent than an evening debating farming through high inflation?
On the evening of December 1st, we will be doing just that at the Great Yorkshire Showground, where we will enjoy a hot supper from 7pm, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
Rising to challenges of inflation in farming
Farming through inflation is something that most Future Farmers have never experienced.
With this in mind, we will hear a variety of perspectives in the panel discussion, including industry experts such as Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics at HSBC.
We will also hear from farmers – some who have lived and farmed though inflation and others who haven’t – to understand how they are tackling the challenge head-on in their own businesses.
Speakers at our Autumn Debate 2022
- Isobel Eames, Knowledge Exchange Manager (Cereals & Oilseeds) at AHDB
Unsettled global backdrop
World politics are as unsettled as they have ever been in my lifetime.
The war in mainland Europe has been ongoing for more than nine months now, featuring a major superpower against one of the bread baskets of Europe.
Our late Queen had 15 UK prime ministers form governments in her name and four of those have come in just the last seven years.
Not only that, we continue to manage the realities of Brexit and Covid.
Markets crave certainty and currently no one seems able to deliver this; as a result, we see inflation.
Sharp impacts on agriculture
General economic inflation is currently running circa 10 per cent, however agri-inflation is more than double that figure.
Record high wheat and oilseed rape prices have only been matched by record high fertiliser costs.
Other sectors have not had the good fortune of high output prices, meaning businesses are having to carry greater working capital and risk for the same or less reward.
For the first time, inflation and the actual cost of money has become a very real issue for many of our members.
It’s often said that if a business isn’t growing, it’s failing.
However, having the confidence in which area to invest at this time is no easy task.
Not many months ago, although the decision to invest in a new implement, building or land was hard, the benign inflation and interest rates meant that if an investment was able to cover costs and cashflow allowed, an investment might be made.
Today, with basic input costs soaring, day-to-day cashflow might start to prevent businesses from taking opportunities, even in the most certain of profitable outcomes.
So, how can we turn this situation around and what silver linings can be found?
At our Future Farmers autumn debate, we will discuss how agricultural businesses can ‘plough on’ through this challenging period – learning what is currently influencing the market dynamics, if business leaders have any tactics and understanding whether there are any lessons to be learnt from previous periods of high inflation.
As always, it’s a great opportunity to come together to meet old and new friends over supper; socialising, sharing ideas and learning from a range of people within our industry.
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