RPG Annual Conference26 May | 10am - 1pm
Welcome to RPG’s Sustainable Food & Farming Conference. We are thrilled to welcome a distinguished panel of speakers from politics and industry to share their thoughts on how we can build a flourishing, sustainable and secure food and farming industry within the challenges of the national and international framework in which we operate.
Unprecedented has become a slightly overused term when describing the past couple of years. However, the triumvirate of global pandemic, Brexit and war in Europe has created a truly exceptional set of conditions for business to navigate. Casting around for comparisons my mind wanders all the way back to 1918, to the First World War and Spanish flu.
Even in the best of times, it often feels the rural economy is undervalued compared to its urban counterpart. However, the huge financial contribution made by rural businesses is just the start of what this sector brings to the table.
Rural businesses, and in particular those with significant landholdings, will be critical to the transition to a more sustainable UK plc through the delivery of onshore-generated clean energy, biofuel production, carbon management services and the delivery of public goods such as cleaner air, biodiversity recovery, reforestation and access to green spaces.
At the same time, the need to produce high standard, high welfare, nutritious food at home at accessible prices is increasingly prescient as global conditions highlight the fragility of complex supply chains and contribute to price inflation at a rate which is spreading financial insecurity to ever more people in our society.
At the RPG annual conference we addressed the issues of how we feed the nation sustainably and how we manage the 70% of landmass which is under agricultural control to support the metamorphosis of the green economy.
This conference and the accompanying rural valuation report seek to correct the misperceptions around the significance of the rural economy by highlighting its financial value to the UK and its multiplier effect on the sustainability of the wider economy. By joining us at the conference, sharing your thoughts and putting questions to the panel, you can help guide policy makers towards greater regard for agriculture, farming, food production and the allied industries.
Founder, Rural Policy Group
Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Annual Report 2021
The Rural Policy Group’s Annual Report 2021 on sustainable food pricing and the value of rural is unique in its approach to attributing a financial valuation and sustainability report to the agriculture, food and farming sector.
Taking a systems-thinking approach, the report pieces together the integral role of the agriculture, food and farming community in delivering food security, better health outcomes and environmental recovery, and regenerating rural communities to reduce social and economic inequalities.
As an equigenic industry agriculture, food and farming has the potential to reduce inequalities of health, income and opportunity across society. It is also uniquely positioned to power the transition to a greener UK plc through improvements in its own practices, engaging with the Environmental Land Management schemes to supply public goods and the provision of green goods and services, such as biofuels, clean energy and carbon sinks, which will support the wider economy to become more sustainable.
Further, shocks in the global system – pandemic, Brexit, war in Europe, climate change – have exposed fragilities in supply chains and it is becoming ever more important to consider our approach to food procurement and food security, and our degree of reliance on international trading partners. Domestic food producers are an important part of the solution to protect our ability to access affordable food and our national security.
However, we can only harness the potential of agriculture, food and farming and reap the benefits for society, economy and environment if the businesses which operate within this sector have a greater degree of financial stability and certainty than they currently enjoy. The report treats the industry as a FTSE 100 constituent and look at how to create conditions which would stimulate investment. We explore the policy framework, supply chain collaboration, development of new markets, consumer demand and how food is valued.
Through demonstrating the value of agriculture, food and farming to the UK economy, society and green transition, we hope to gain the attention of policy-makers; asking them to reassess their estimations of this vitally important sector and make it a policy priority.
The report was written by Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Katie Tucker, Jose Hopkins and David Hall et al.
Sustainable Food & Farming
Watch a few of the highlights from the Sustainable Food & Farming Conference held at MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s London head office.
Watch again: Creating the Conditions for Investing in Sustainability
You can’t ask business to go green when it is in the red. We discuss the global and domestic influences on agriculture, food and farming, and ask what needs to be done to stimulate investment in sustainability.
Keynote speaker: Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party Peer
Watch again: The Evolving Role of Land Use in a Sustainable Economy
Land and those who manage it are the powerhouse behind the green transition; they alone have the ability to feed and fuel society and its economy sustainably. We discuss sustainable agriculture and diversification into green services.
Keynote speaker: Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Spokesperson
Thank you to RPG’s Conference Sponsors
Hosting this conference and the RED Talk series would not be possible without the support of friends and colleagues who give generously in their support of our shared aims, to achieve the incorporation of environmental, social and good governance (ESG) values in rural businesses and ensure the robustness of the UK’s food and farming industry.
MHA MacIntyre Hudson
MHA is a firm of chartered accountants, tax and business advisers with offices across the UK. Agriculture and Rural Business is a priority sector for the firm. From agricultural accounting at its core, the team has expanded into allied industries such as plant & machinery, manufacturing and agri-chemicals.
Adams Group is an award-winning agency providing the full range of marketing services. Adams takes a different approach to marketing, working in consultation with our clients we provide value-added solutions to fit individual business needs. We work closely with our client’s and their in-house teams to ensure maximum results and long-term success.
At Adams we are passionate about marketing. We believe that marketing can be transformative for business and can work as a powerhouse providing business sustainability and growth.