UK - The prospects for food and farming in the UK are promising with export markets opening up and global demand for food rising.
This was the core message from junior agriculture minister George Eustice at the opening of the Livestock Event in Birmingham this week.
Mr Eustice said that with a rising global population demand for food is expected to increase by 60 per cent by 2050.
And for the UK recently new markets for beef had been opened in Japan, and the market for pig meat exports to China had recently opened.
He added that a memorandum of understanding had also been reached with China over exports of beef, although negotiations to seal the deal could take another three to four years.
“The long term prospects for the industry are very good,” Mr Eustice said.
“We have seen quite a turn-around in the last two years,” he added.
He said that with feed prices coming down and quotas being removed from the dairy sector next year, there are big opportunities for the farming and dairy sector.
However, he said that at present the dairy sector is operating a trade deficit with more imports than exports and he urged the dairy industry to reverse the trend by taking more of the domestic market and also increasing exports particularly with cheese products.
In the beef sector, he said that this week because of difficult times with low prices and hard market conditions, an agreement has been reached between the National Farmers Union and the British Meat processors Association on a voluntary code of conduct on charges and specifications handed down by the abattoirs to farmers.
Mr Eustice also called for more progress to be made by the industry in the field of genetics to improve productivity.
He added that in the sheep and lamb sector, prospects were also improving as the UK is the third largest exporter in the world and the largest producer in Europe.
With stable prices, the sector has recently seen markets open up in Hong Kong for more exports.