As part of a UK Government campaign encouraging UK companies to export their goods, the Department for International Trade has released a short video which we were delighted to see featured Agri-EPI Centre, our partners and our Midlands Innovation Hub.
Government and Policy
Working with the agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture sectors, at Agri-EPI we explore and deliver precision farming engineering, technology and innovation in the UK.
Updating our members and wider interested sectors on evolving Government directives, regulation and policy, we also support seek to inform, educate and influence policy with research, new technology and empirical data.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Wordpress-event-and-news-845x321-3.png 321 845 Sarah Keevil https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Sarah Keevil2021-04-13 13:56:032021-04-13 14:10:47Agri-EPI Centre featured as supporter of Midlands tech innovators in UK Government campaign
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sustainable-Farming-Agricultural-Transition-Plan-DEFRA-2021-2024-845x321-1.png 321 845 Yoni van Breukelen https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Yoni van Breukelen2020-12-04 11:53:552021-03-03 10:41:33An Introduction to the new Agricultural Transition Plan
As a member of the British Agri-Tech community, Kasi McReddie has literally been on the edge of her seat waiting for DEFRA’s announcement which sets out Government’s plans for the transition from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The announcement, of which details can be found at The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024, lays out plans for adaptation in the English farming community over the next seven years. Kasi is Agri-EPI’s Business Development Manager Livestock and Aquaculture and has formulated what this means for farmers and the agri-tech community and what opportunities there are for agri-tech companies going forward.
Farmers in England will see a phased-out reduction in Direct Payments over 4-years starting in 2021, with money saved in reduced BPS payments being used to fund grant and schemes to boost farmers’ productivity and reward environmental improvements.
What does the announcement mean for the agri-tech community?
One of the main barriers to the uptake of technology on farm is cost. In my experience, farmers are very good business people and, quite rightly, are rarely convinced to purchase a novel or innovative piece of equipment. The Agricultural Transition Plan gives us more details of some schemes which aim to financially incentivise farmers to look towards technology to improve the sustainability of their production.
Looking forward, the Environmental Land Management (ELMs) will include the Sustainable Farming Incentive (beginning 2022), which will support approaches to farm husbandry that deliver for the environment, such as actions to improve soil health, hedgerows and integrated pest management.
Future plans will also include the Farming Investment scheme, which is aimed at improving productivity in agriculture, addressing the underlying causes by supporting businesses to invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure.
This will include:
- Farming Equipment Technology Fund – small grants to contribute towards the purchase of a list of specified items
- Farming Transformation Fund – larger grants towards the cost of more substantial investments in equipment, technology or infrastructure
The Farming Investment Fund for Equipment and Technology and Transformation will be open for applications in autumn 2021. From 2022, farmers will also benefit from an increased investment in agricultural Research & Development that will enable more farmers and agri-food businesses to drive innovation.
What does the announcement mean for farmers?
Under the new plan, farmers will be encouraged and incentivised to embrace changes to production techniques and practices which will reduce any negative environmental impacts. Significant emphasis is being put on innovation over the several years ahead. Farmers will be incentivised to explore how technology can be used to improve productivity whilst simultaneously delivering for the environment.
Agri-EPI have a unique network of 27 ‘Satellite Farms’ – a group of forward-thinking farmers who have welcomed the use of technology on farm and are paving the way for a more sustainable future. From milking robots to animal health sensors, and from infrared technology to drones, Agri-EPI have delivered innovation to the British farming community in this way. The Satellite Farm network is a thriving example of how the adoption of technology can support the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of food production.
How can Agri-EPI support tech companies?
The report states that, by 2028, all farmers should be “managing their whole business in a way that delivers profitable food production and the recovery of nature, fusing the best modern technology available today with the rediscovery of the traditional art of good farm husbandry”.
As an example, technology to improve animal health will be eligible under the new Farming Investment Fund. Agri-EPI are working with a number of innovators to enable the development of solutions for monitoring the health of calves, adult cows and pigs using motion sensors, 3D imagery, augmented reality and more. Such solutions allow ‘early detection’ of health issues before a farmer could with the naked eye, thereby enabling early intervention leading to improved animal welfare, improved productivity, and efficiency. and cost savings on-farm.
Agri-EPI combines technical expertise, technology, and on-farm ‘test beds’ to provide a unique offering to support tech developers and farmers alike to co-develop solutions to some of farming’s most prominent challenges. The Government have now clearly laid out plans which will underpin our mission, by providing grants to farmers to purchase innovative solutions.
Agri-EPI also provide business support, project management and access to world-class research and innovation facilities and research assets, and builds links between research, agri-tech innovation, industry and the value chain, through its membership of >150 companies across agriculture, technology and the value chain.
The announcement should be welcomed by the farming and agri-tech community alike, with shifting policy clearly focussed on incentivising the use of innovation on-farm.
The industry faces unprecedented challenges, the likes of which some will only experience once in a lifetime. During the coming period of change, Agri-EPI will continue to support innovation in agriculture.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Agri-EPI-CTO-among-expert-speakers-at-Westminster-UK-food-security-forum-845x321-1.png 321 845 Yoni van Breukelen https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Yoni van Breukelen2020-11-02 17:43:282021-01-07 15:28:41Agri-EPI CTO among expert speakers at UK food security forum
The potential of digital innovation to support food resilience and security will be the focus of a keynote speech by Agri-EPI’s Chief Technical officer, Dr Shamal Mohammed, when he speaks at the high-profile Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum on Monday November 30.
Shamal, who is one of the UK’s leading experts on agricultural technology and science, is part of a high profile panel featuring speakers from farming, business and policy and R&D, taking part on the event, titled Food security – UK priorities, supporting domestic production and driving innovation.
Shamal will be discussing the sustainable productivity and the challenge and opportunity for smart technologies to improve food security and environmental sustainability.
“The shift from a linear model of food production systems to a more circular model can significantly reduce environmental impact and also contribute to a net zero carbon economy by sequestering more carbon in our soils, improving biodiversity and helping to sustain our natural capital.
“Smart technologies play an important role in enabling the transition towards a sustainable production system by increasing monitoring and decision-making power, transparency, and intelligence -driven processes. In my talk, I will be explaining in more detail how such technology can enable more resilience, diverse and integrated food production systems.”
Other keynote speakers at the event include John Ingram, Food Systems Transformation Programme Leader at the Environmental Change Institute and NFU President Minette Batters. David Linden MP, Co-Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Food and Drink and Baroness Osamor, Member of the UK Parliament’s Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee, are chairing the event.
For full details of the event and to register, visit the Westminster Forum website.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Wordpress-event-845x321-1-e1583257731422.png 188 495 Yoni van Breukelen https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Yoni van Breukelen2020-02-19 12:58:362020-09-28 16:19:58Agricultural productivity key to unlocking future opportunities
Technology and UK farming
A new report published this week by the Food & Drink Sector Council (FDSC), to which the UK’s Agri-Tech Centres contributed, highlights the critical role of technology in the transformation of the UK’s farming industry.
The report was prepared for the FDSC by the Agricultural Productivity Working Group (and associated Task and Finish sub-groups), on which Agri-EPI CEO Dave Ross represented the Joint Centres. The report states that the industry and government must together seize the opportunities presented by new policy frameworks and technology to lead the transformation.
With the UK leaving the EU, imminent changes to agricultural policy and the pressure to achieve net zero emissions, the report highlights the steps that industry and government can take together to overcome the productivity challenge that has long faced the British farming industry.
Agri-EPI’s Dave Ross said:
“Alongside fellow industry experts, I worked on this report to outline the priority steps we believe must be taken to maximise agricultural productivity during this unprecedented time for UK agriculture.
“As our report highlights, there is a fundamental need for farming to become more data-driven, allowing performance measurement and the sharing of data for comparison between farms. This will require a range of actions around safe and effective data sharing and use. The report’s further recommendation for an Evidence-Based Farming (EBF) Initiative will be a key part of developing data use in agriculture. I am confident that Agri-EPI’s existing Satellite Farm network, along with the other Centres’ extensive networks, will play an important role in a new EBF programme.”
Speaking on behalf of the UK’s four Agri-Tech Centres (Agri-EPI Centre, Agrimetrics, CHAP and CIEL) Lyndsay Chapman, Chief Executive of CIEL, said:
“We very much welcome the recognition given in this new report to the critical role of agri-tech innovation and data. As farming faces unprecedented challenges, it is essential that farmers and food businesses have access to accurate information, allowing them to make the best management decisions. The Centres’ shared vision is to drive greater efficiency, resilience and wealth for UK farmers and the wider agri-food sector.”
Read the full report on the FDSC website here.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Untitled-design.png 799 799 Yoni van Breukelen https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Yoni van Breukelen2019-10-15 15:40:272020-09-28 16:59:00Kiwi alliance speeds innovation development
Global collaboration plays a vital role in developing solutions for our farming industries – so in September we were delighted to receive 20+ visitors from New Zealand on an innovation-led agri-tech mission. The visit followed our own expert mission to New Zealand in March this year: our nations have many farming similarities, so agri-tech innovators are uniquely placed to share challenges and opportunities.
Farmers across the UK and Ireland already use technology from New Zealand companies like LIC, Gallagher, Waikato and Tru-Test, and there is plenty that our own innovators can do to help farmers across the globe. The challenges are the same whether you farm in New Zealand or the UK: achieving greater productivity and efficiencies, labour availability, environmental pressures and changing consumer preferences. Smart technological solutions can help answer those challenges.
With the help of the Department of International Trade, Innovate UK, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Callaghan Innovation-led mission visited the Irish National Ploughing Championships and UK Dairy Day, as well as our Agri-EPI hub in the Midlands and the South West Dairy Development Centre in Somerset.
Les Hurdiss, Operations Manager at the Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, explains:
“Agriculture is New Zealand’s number one industry, so their government really promotes innovation. But the domestic market is small, so they need to expand globally.”
By creating ‘landing pads’ in the UK, employing British staff, receiving British investment and developing new innovations for the British market, everyone stands to benefit.
In addition, having a straightforward entry to the New Zealand market helps our own investors and innovators, while having a presence on opposite sides of the world speeds up technological advances due to the ability to squeeze two seasons of testing into one 12-month period.
Having returned to New Zealand, Peter Wren-Hilton, Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand, has already drafted actions and initiatives to submit to Government ministers. Times are moving rapidly ahead: watch this space.
Earlier this year, Agri-EPI Centre took part in Agri-Tech Expert Missions to Australia and New Zealand respectively. KTN has delivered two separate publications that summarise the opportunities for UK organisations in both areas and insights gathered during the delegation’s time. Don’t miss out on these insightful documents and download them here.
Innovate UK’s Global Expert Missions, led by Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, play an important role in building strategic partnerships, providing deep insight into the opportunities for UK innovation and shaping future programmes.
https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/brexit-britain-british-1280x853.jpg 853 1280 Yoni van Breukelen https://agri-epicentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Agri-EPI-Logo-Primary-1-300x87.png Yoni van Breukelen2019-10-13 16:23:232020-09-24 16:13:28How to prepare your business for Brexit
The Government’s Brexit negotiations appear to be continuing to the deadline, and while great uncertainty remains there are some knowns which can help businesses prepare. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued a series of bulletins to guide agri-food businesses through the UK’s departure from the EU, which is currently scheduled to take place on 31 October. Specific guidance for food and drink businesses is available on the Food and Drink GOV.UK landing page, including advice for importers and exporters of animal products, food labelling, tariffs, data protection and more.
There are also several events and webinars available:
> Brexit Business Readiness Events
The Government is arranging free Brexit Business Readiness Events across the UK where you can meet Government advisers and find out what actions to take.
The events will combine a keynote address, interactive support, advice stands and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts. They will provide delegates with specific business-focused advice and help.
Register to attend an event at: https://registration.livegroup.co.uk/brexitbusinessreadinessevents/
> DIT Get ready for Brexit business-facing workshops
The Department for International Trade is also running a series of events to help exporters to get ready for Brexit – these will be particularly useful for businesses who are exporting to the EU.
DIT will talk about the impact to supply chains, changes to regulations and contracts, where to find tariff information, and what you might need to speak to customers and employees about. You will leave the event with a personalised action plan to prepare your business for Brexit.
See dates, locations and sign up – limited registration place available.
> HMRC Getting ready for Brexit webinars
HMRC is running a number of webinars for UK businesses involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK.
Find out what you need to know to keep importing and exporting by signing up for a webinar.
> Trading with the UK as an EU business after Brexit
If you’re an EU business not established in the UK, check what you’ll need to do differently to trade with the UK in a no-deal Brexit. The guidance can be found here.
> Identify livestock for export to the EU in a no-deal Brexit
The UK can continue exporting livestock to the EU in a no-deal Brexit however there is a requirement to follow some extra rules on ear tagging. Please find guidance on how to identify sheep, cattle, pigs and goats when exporting to the EU in a no-deal Brexit.
> Food exporters: Get ready for animal health regulations
Importers and exporters of animals and animal products – including meat, cheese and fish – will be subject to new requirements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. George Eustice MP shares his thoughts here.
> How to move goods through RORO locations in a no-deal Brexit
A process flow for freight roll-on, roll-off (RORO) imports and exports between the UK and the EU for a no-deal Brexit (excluding Northern Ireland) is available here.
> Hauliers and commercial drivers will need new documents to transport goods into the EU after Brexit
GOV.UK guidance is available here summarising document requirements for the driver, vehicle, cargo and customs to transport goods into the EU after Brexit.
> EU Regulation: Smarter rules for safer food
The EU is introducing new rules to protect against animal disease and plant pests. The new Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625 and Plant Health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 will apply in EU member states from 14 December 2019. How and when the UK implements these regulations will depend on Brexit. UK exporters will need to comply with these regulations when they come into force in all Brexit scenarios. Further information on this can be found here.