Countryfile presenter Adam Henson encouraged farmers to focus on building the public’s confidence in their produce in 2019 at a major annual agricultural conference.
Henson, who owns Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham, gave an insight into the history of his family business and offered advice on topical issues to around 100 guests at the 15th annual Wright Hassall Agricultural Conference, held at Stoneleigh Park’s Oak Tree Rooms.
He said: “I know from experience just how difficult it can be to run a farm.
“When I took over Cotswold Farm from my father, I was trying to do everything myself but what I quickly learned was that it simply isn’t possible, you need a strong team around you.
“We are on the cusp of major change with Brexit but I believe we will be able to ride this wave.
“However, those who are smart will diversify: we don’t have a God-given right to live off just producing food.
“Another area which I think we need to focus on is improving the public’s perception of our produce, we need to make sure they are aware of our hygiene procedures and push the traceability of what we are selling, this is a major factor in consumers’ decision making now, as it should be.”
Henson was one of three speakers at the event, alongside Holly Beckett of Focussed Farmers and Joel Woolf, a farmer’s son from Suffolk who is now a partner at Wright Hassall, working with a number of the leading law firm’s agricultural clients.
Wright Hassall has more than 170 years of history in agricultural law and is a UK leader in the field, with a dedicated agriculture team that advises a range of farmers, landowners, rural businesses and farming-related organisations on all their legal matters and has close connections with the National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC and Warwickshire Farm Management Group.
Paul Rice the firm’s Senior Partner, who heads up the Wright Hassall agriculture team alongside partner, Alex Robinson, said: “Our annual Agricultural Conference was a huge success this year, with three different perspectives on how to improve their farming business being delivered to a packed room.
“Farming is a unique business: in no other industry are life and livelihood so indivisible.
“We wanted to focus on how to keep your farm, finances, body and mind healthy this year.
“The high quality and variety of content from our speakers ensured those who came out left the conference with a different point of view on their professional life.”