Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Gallery: County’s food and farming heroes can help boost tourism and economy

10:20 06 February 2013

Suffolk Food & Agriculture Conference at Trinity Park, Ipswich
John Taylor, Cllr Judy Terry, Vicky Ford MEP, David Barker MBE

Suffolk Food & Agriculture Conference at Trinity Park, Ipswich John Taylor, Cllr Judy Terry, Vicky Ford MEP, David Barker MBE

Archant

THE world-class food and farming industry in Suffolk can help the county’s economy grow and be a powerful magnet for tourists, a major conference has been told.

shares

The Suffolk Food and Agriculture Conference, held yesterday, highlighted the challenges that will be faced in the years ahead – but stressed what a huge asset the industry is.

Westhorpe farmer David Barker told dele-gates at Trinity Park, Ipswich, that there were opportunities for the industry to develop and many farmers were already successfully diversifying.

“I would suggest Suffolk farmers are among the best at producing crops and livestock in the world,” he said. “It’s important to remember how significant this sector is to the Suffolk economy and the Suffolk people.”

The food and farming sector also had a key role to play in tourism, he said.

Tourists “don’t come to Suffolk for Tesco and Starbucks”, but for the local food and drink and the natural environment, Mr Barker added.

“There’s a great opportunity for this industry to flourish. The agri-food sector in Suffolk is immensely important,” he said.

A range of speakers at the conference looked at key areas which need to be addressed, including recruiting the industry’s future workforce, and the importance of research and development, water and resources, infrastructure and supply chains.

Norfolk and Suffolk account for 12% of the country’s total farm output, the conference heard, and combined they produce nearly half of England’s sugar beet, turkeys and ducks, a quarter of all pigs and geese, and a fifth of the potatoes, vegetables, salads and peas.

It is predicted that in order to meet demand, global production will need to increase by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, using fewer resources.

John Taylor, who farms at Clopton, near Woodbridge, explained how his generations-old family farming enterprise was embracing new technology, education and new thinking in order to maximise the quality and quantity of his crops.

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for economy and skills, told delegates that “Suffolk has never really promoted itself as much as it should do”, but it had a strong farming sector and good international links, including its grain exports via the Port of Ipswich.

The conference would contribute towards Suffolk County Council’s growth strategy, she added.

MEP Vicky Ford pointed to the higher animal welfare standards, particularly in the pig and poultry sectors, to other parts of the European Union.

“We are home to some of the most productive farms, not just in the UK but in Europe and the world,” she said. “Food and farming is incredibly important and change and our little tiny corner of the world is vital in that change.”

Farming consultant Martin Collison explained how, for every £1 of value we create through growing crops, £4 can be created through food processing and a further £5 through food retail.

Anglian Water group director Mark Pendlington told conference-goers of the challenges the water industry faced in keeping up supplies in a region which included areas which were generally drier than Jerusalem and even parts of the Sahara desert.

“Here in the East of England climate change and population growth put us right on the front line,” he said. “Here we see our vulnerability in very stark terms.”

shares

2 comments

  • "food and farming heroes" ??? So what term do we use to describe people who rescue someone at great risk to themselves or fight in battle? And farmers are NOT the only businessmen in the region; why not "shopkeeper heroes"? Perhaps because your papers have such a strong link with the wealthy landowners?

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • "food and farming heroes" ??? So what term do we use to describe people who rescue someone at great risk to themselves or fight in battle? And farmers are NOT the only businessmen in the region; why not "shopkeeper heroes"? Perhaps because your papers have such a strong link with the wealthy landowners?

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The Orwell Bridge.

Police were called to the Orwell Bridge after concerns were raised over a man’s welfare on Friday afternoon.

A body has been found in a flat in The Street in Bramford.

A man found dead in his flat after failing to turn up for work has been named locally.

Medieval Mayhem at Framlingham Castle. Photo: Nigel Wallace-Iles

From medieval mayhem and country shows to classic vehicles and hip hop, there’s lots to enjoy this long weekend. F

There were 7,365 admissions to Suffolks two main hospitals in 2014/15 where obesity was the main reason for a person being admitted or was a secondary factor. Photo: PA.

Obesity levels are worse in Suffolk than every London borough, a new report revealing the growing challenges facing the county’s health chiefs has shown.

Henry Dunham and Sam Crimp visit Ipswich Town Football Club meet with the squad ahead of the pair's fundraising trek to Kathmandu in a few week's time, which will raise funds for charity in memory of Henry's sister Annie Hughes.

Two fundraisers from Suffolk have met with the Ipswich Town squad – after a chance encounter with a good friend of club boss Mick McCarthy.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at The George, Wickham Market, in 2013

Fresh calls for answers as to the future of a medieval Suffolk pub have been issued after more than 200 people turned out to a public meeting on the matter last week.

USAF fighter planes from RAF Lakenheath taken from a C130 Hercules

Almost £250,000 has been paid out in compensation for damage, injuries and loss of livestock caused by low flying military aircraft in East Anglia over the past five years, figures show.

Pupils and Students outside Bealings Primary School where they are planning to boycott classes next Tuesday as a protest against SATS.

A group of parents from Suffolk are planning to take their children out of school for the day in a show of protest against SATs exams.

James Fairweather has been found guilty of murdering Nahid Almanea and James Attfield

The Colchester teenager convicted of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 must serve a minimum of 27 years in jail.

Dr Krissie Wilson, a UCS on Ipswich Waterfront

Why do people believe in so many weird things?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24