UK agriculture needs to be more competitive, says Jim Godfrey.

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As farmers we want a competitive farming industry because that is what will be sustainable in the longer term.  A competitive industry is profitable, more resilient, better able to withstand financial, disease and other shocks; it is more likely to reinvest, better able to provide good working conditions, environmental benefits, and give greater choice, innovation and value to consumers as well as being less likely to require subsidy.

Over the last 20 years we have seen the output of UK agriculture decline, mainly as a result of less land in production and less livestock.  The UK’s self sufficiency has decreased too, and the average yields of our major crops have at best only marginally increased over this time, the notable exception being sugar beet. The pig sector has decreased substantially as a result of UK welfare legislation and subsequent under re-investment, whilst the poultry sector has increased substantially due to well targeted research and investment in buildings.
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