The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s ‘Future Farmers Forum’

January 27, 2020

The Prince’s Countryside Fund held its first ‘Future Farmers Forum’ at Aldi HQ in Atherstone on Wednesday 22nd January.

Thirty ambitious young farmers from all around the UK attended, chaired by BBC Radio 4 Farming Today presenter and National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs president, Charlotte Smith. During the morning, the attendees had a tour of Aldi’s regional distribution center, followed by presentations on access and entry to farming from George Dunn (Tenant Farmers Association) and Oliver McEntyre (Barclays). During lunch, Alex Cherry, the Director of Groundswell gave a forward thinking talk on regenerative agriculture.

The afternoon consisted of a series of talks on topics including policy, environment, marketing, mental health and succession, followed by an interactive and thought-provoking speed networking session on these topics allowing the delegates to delve deeper into subjects such as promoting British agriculture and the future of UK trade post-Brexit. The day concluded with a question and answer session with the speakers, leaving the attendees with lots to think about and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of the future.

Aled Thomas, BFA Agriculture Student of the year 2019 said: “The Prince’s Countryside Fund plays a vital role in securing a positive outcome for the future of agriculture in the UK. Networking and discussion events like the Future Farmers Forum, which was fantastically supported this year by Aldi UK are essential to the industry to ensure that we all have the same vision for UK agriculture for years to come, and that we are able to share knowledge throughout the supply chain and drive efficiency across the sector.”

The Prince’s Countryside Fund would like to thank Aldi for hosting the conference, and all of the speakers: Charlotte Smith, Harriet Wilson, Will Barstow, George Dunn, Oliver McEntyre, Alex Cherry, David Ractliffe, Adele Jones, Andy Venables, Jonathan Glen and Heather Wildman.

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying, said: “We were delighted to host the first Future Farmers Forum and are proud to support the next generation of young farmers through our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund.”