2024 – a positive vision for the future of farming
5 January 2024
Birketts is delighted to once again be sponsoring the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNNA) Norfolk Farming Conference next month. “A positive vision for the future of farming” is just one of the topics to be discussed at this year’s Conference. Ahead of the discussions, we share a few of the top trends which we expect to be engaging in with the farming sector in the coming year.
Exploration of Natural Capital opportunities
Both privately funded and statutory schemes are a consistent source of enquiries as we assist landowners with the formulation of agreements relating to biodiversity net gain, nutrient neutrality, landscape recovery projects, cluster groups and nature credit brokerage agreements. As the legal and regulatory framework develops, we foresee further engagement from landowners.
Renewable energy projects
With the continued drive to “net zero” and energy security we expect the resurgence in large scale ground mounted solar projects to continue and anticipate there may be an increase in onshore wind farm (as planning policy shifts). Whilst battery exclusive schemes are popular, we imagine that the real acceleration of this area is likely to happen when battery technology develops to allow for longer storage periods.
A growing trend over recent years has been an increase in collaboration between farming enterprises, and we expect to assist clients with further collaboration projects this year. We foresee further collaboration relating to larger scale environmental projects, water sharing and machinery/technology sharing. We look forward to hearing from Poul Hovesen and Domic Swan at the Norfolk Farming Conference about their Catalyst Farming Ltd data sharing project as an example of increased collaboration across the industry.
In recent years there has been a growing onus on diversification in order to make businesses more resilient in the face of declining BPS payments, volatile commodity prices and increased interest rates. We anticipate continuing to assist a range of clients with new projects which will inevitably be facilitated through sales, purchases and refinancing.
We’re looking forward to discussing these trends and more with farmers in Norfolk, as well as hearing from the lineup of speakers at the Norfolk Farming Conference on the 6 February.
The full programme includes:
Opening address – Farming Minister – The RT Hon Mark Spencer MP
Session 1 – Discussion panel – “Land Use – the environmental cost of farming”
Case study – Andy Cato, Founder of Wildfarmed and one half of Groove Armada, on the application of regenerative farming system
Session 2 – Presentation videos – “Norfolk Voices for Norfolk Futures”
Session 3 – Discussion panel – “Can data enhance sustainability for UK farms?”
Case study – Poul Hovesen and Dominic Swan from Catalyst Farming Ltd on the impact of collaborative data sharing
Session 4 – Discussion panel – “Diet and Health – why it matters to farming”
Closing address – “A Positive Vision for the Future of Farming” – Patrick Holden CBE, co-founder and CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust
For more information and to book your tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/norfolk-farming-conference-tickets-756093284367.
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at January 2024.