I just spent a most enjoyable and productive evening with South Bucks National Farmers’ Union, which followed a recent visit to a local farm.

Discussing farming in Buckinghamshire

In particular, we discussed NFU President Peter Kendall’s speech, “Delivering Farming’s Future”. He repeated a point made by Norman Borlaug, a Nobel laureate and great agricultural scientist, that:

In the next 50 years we are going to have to produce more food than we have in the last ten thousand years.

I am reminded of a remark heard elsewhere that restrictive measures can only restrict production. We might do well to rethink farming regulation substantially.

Nick Herbert MP’s agenda for British farming, “A New Age of Agriculture”, seeks to do just that, with an industry-led review of all existing regulations. See page 7 of the policy document:

I was also asked to respond personally to a wish list from Chilterns Farmers formed at the 4 March Chilterns Conservation Board Farmers’ Forum: I believe I passed muster! It was certainly a very interesting discussion and, yet again, I am staggered by the grotesque bureaucracy which has been heaped upon practical, productive people.

I think perhaps it is time for change.

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