The demand for food in uncertain times

The effect of the unpredictable financial climate on food production will be at the forefront of discussions at the forthcoming Farming Scotland Conference in early February.

Despite uncertainty during turbulent economic times, delegates, whether farmers, suppliers or other professionals, will hear the latest research, opinions and advice relating to agriculture in light of tough financial challenges.

The sponsors have revealed a diverse range of speakers for this year’s annual event, taking place at the Carnoustie Hotel on Thursday, February 2.

The conference will be sponsored by EQ, Chartered Accountants, Bell Ingram, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Thorntons Solicitors.

Speakers, who will give their own perspective on the uncertain times,’ will include Dr Alan Renwick, head of the Land Economy and Environment Research Group at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).

Alan is currently heading up research for the Scottish Government on Sustainable Farming Systems and will talk on increasing yields without adverse environmental impact and without the cultivation of more land, and what it means for crop production in Scotland.

The conference will also welcome Caroline Evans, head of marketing and corporate affairs at the Potato Council.

She has a proven track record of devising and delivering effective marketing strategies, and she will give her outlook on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry, including how shoppers have changed their behaviour.

Meanwhile, ‘Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year 2011’ James Down, from Taunton in Somerset, will give an insight into how he has raised profits while simplifying operations at his 900 acre mixed farm, which he took over from his family eight years ago.

Keith Hopkins, Partner, EQ said: “Like many industries, the farming sector is facing uncertain times.

“As well as an unpredictable and turbulent financial climate both in the UK and in Europe, the world’s population is booming and climate change is a huge concern to many national governments.

“Food, and its production, has never been more important. However, one thing that remains certain is that people need food to live and there are real opportunities to be taken to allow farmers to make the right decisions for their business.”

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and take part in discussions with the speakers. For more information, and to book a place contact Mary Campbell, EQ, Chartered Accountants, Forfar on telephone 01307 474274 or email