RPG Annual Conference

26 May | 10am - 1pm


rpg mark lumpson taylor 2 300x300 1Welcome to RPG’s 2022 annual conference on a sustainable rural economy. 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 look forward to addressing 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.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor
Founder, Rural Policy Group
Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Rural Policy Group Annual Report and Annual Conference

This year’s annual Rural Policy Group conference, and RPG Annual Report launch, takes place at the offices of MHA at London Wall, from 10am on 26th May 2022.5.16

Rural Policy Group was originally established in 2019 to become an important forum for food, farming and agricultural businesses with the ability to draw innovative thinking from participants, act as a voice for the sectors, and influence policy and decision makers. In all areas it has achieved success.

There are three main elements: a regular series of RED Talks (webinars dealing with business-critical issues impacting the sectors), the Annual Report (summarising intent, innovation and action as well as focusing on crucial related topics) and the Annual Conference (attended by a distinguished panel of experts together with two focus discussions on topical challenges)

This year the Annual Conference panel comprises Daniel Zeichner (shadow environment minister), Tim Doubleday (CFO Burger King), Stephen Winningham (co-founder and vice chairman of City Harvest London), Sarah Dodds (Head of Africulture and partner at MHA), Tim Farron (Lib Dem EFRA spokesperson), David Carter (chief executive City Harvest London) and Rachel Mutt (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sector head and partner at MHA).

The two core subjects for the event are:

1. Creating the conditions for investment in sustainability (beginning at 10.00 am)

2. The evolving role of land use in a sustainable economy (beginning at 12.00 noon)

One of the most important outputs of RPG is its Annual Report.

It’s scope covers: Food · Environment · Health.

The Report summarises the discussions and outputs from the RED Talks throughout the year as well as focusing on key topics.

This year, the Report looks at how the rural economy can, and should, be valued in the same way as a PLC – in order to develop comprehension of its true value to society.

The Report campaigns for fair and sustainable pricing, health & wellbeing and sustainable commercial enterprise in terms of environmental issues; but from the perspective of sound accounting and economic principles with a pragmatic view that businesses must also achieve profits through their endeavours.

RPG Annual Conference Sessions

S1 Investment Smaller

Creating the Conditions for Investment in Sustainability

In the first session in Rural Policy Group’s annual conference we examine the structural conditions needed to stimulate investment in sustainable agritech and new farming practices. We look at how the industry can regain a greater degree of certainty and return to financial stability. We ask our expert panel of industry heavyweights, politicians and academics to consider the framework of national policies within which we produce food and manage the land, greater collaboration within the supply chain, government ambitions, the consumer relationship with food and whether it is time for a food value reset. As ever, we will be applying insights to business situations to facilitate actionable outcomes for participants.

S2 Land Use Smaller

The Evolving Role of Land Use in a Sustainable Economy

In the second session in Rural Policy Group’s annual conference we turn our attention to agriculture as the engine of a sustainable UK plc. We will be investigating the growing demand for farmland to provide clean fuels & energy and other environmental services. We ask the panel to consider the diversification opportunities available to landowners and how we balance these needs with the need to produce food and improve the nation’s food security.

rpg sarah calcuttSarah Culcutt

RPG Vice Chair

Sarah tells us why the RPG Annual Conference on sustainability in the rural economy is so important amid the domestic and international challenges facing food and farming businesses.

Watch again: 2021 RPG annual conference

Watch last year’s keynote talk on Building a Sustainable Rural Economy in which we asked how can farmers go green when they are in the red. This exciting discussion welcomed HSBC, the CLA, a former trade minister, MHA MacIntyre Hudson and a fresh produce industry veteran to the table.

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.

macintyre hudson

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 logo green 500px

Adams Group

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.

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