Roadshow to give farmers guidance on thriving after Brexit

The event will focus on what farmers can do now to begin to prepare for the changes ahead
The event will focus on what farmers can do now to begin to prepare for the changes ahead

The AHDB, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will host a Brexit roadshow event on Wednesday.

The event on February 21 will be held at the Thainstone House Hotel and will feature expert speakers from each organisation who will outline the latest thinking on policy, potential implications and opportunities, as well as how farmers can prepare now for the future outside the EU.

Speakers will include Senior Analyst Sarah Baker on the possible impact of Brexit; SRUC Senior Agricultural Economist Steven Thomson, who will explain the current political debates in Holyrood and Westminster; and Douglas Bell, Head of Industry Development at QMS, who will outline how farmers can prepare for the changes ahead.

Sarah Baker, along with her colleague David Swales, will present on the Horizon reports AHDB has been producing since the referendum in 2016.

Sarah says: “We’ll be highlighting some of the main findings from our Horizon series at the events, focusing on our joint report with SRUC and QMS on the implications of Brexit on Scotland.

“I see our work as a call to action as we know from our research that the top 25% of performers in all sectors, regardless of size, will remain viable in all our post-Brexit scenarios, and there is plenty that farm businesses can do now to mitigate the potential effects of Brexit.”

SRUC Senior Agricultural Economist, Steven Thomson, will discuss the current situation regarding Brexit and how different political outcomes may affect the future of Scottish agriculture.

He says: “Brexit is an extremely complicated process, particularly when it comes to agriculture due to the EU’s protection for the sector. The roadshow is an excellent opportunity for Scottish farmers to better understand some of these complexities and how their business may be affected in the long run. We hope farmers will take the opportunity to learn more about the process, then take stock and think about how to reduce their exposure to Brexit risks.”

Douglas Bell, Head of Industry Development at QMS, will then shift focus to what farmers can do now to begin to prepare for the changes ahead.

“Brexit will bring challenges and opportunities. The current uncertainty can make forward planning seem particularly daunting but in fact there are lots of proactive steps farmers could be taking in the coming months. The meeting will offer an opportunity to explore some of the steps that farmers can take now, to help ensure their businesses are best placed to rise to challenges and take advantage of opportunities,” said Mr Bell.

The evening will end with a panel discussions with farmers able to ask questions of any, or all, of the expert panel.

The free event is expected to run from 7pm – 9.30pm with tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

To help plan catering anyone wishing to attend can register on eventbrite or by contacting Sarah Hunter-Argyle on 07391 408 808 or at sarah.hunterargyle@ahdb.org.uk.