2019 has been a hectic year for the primary sector, and it’s useful to reflect on what’s taken place over the past 12 months as well as to look to what 2020 holds in store for us.
From our own initiatives such as launching the Taste Pure Nature country of origin brand pilot rollout in the United States in March, to responding to the deluge of environmental policy proposals on climate change, freshwater, and now biodiversity, plus the on-going M.bovis response, it’s clear that our sector is facing some of the most significant challenges and changes in a generation. This is all before we even get to the highly valued work on the ground our regional team does delivering events, field days, and being our eyes and ears around the country.
Rather than reiterating everything we’ve done this year in this wrap up, if you haven’t had a chance to read the update we mailed out to all our levy payers in November I’d encourage you to do so. You can find a copy on our website by clicking here.
Looking ahead to 2020, the pace isn’t going to slacken, starting with Brexit which looks likely to take place on 31 January. We’ll be launching Taste Pure Nature in China, rolling out work to counter the misconceptions about our farming practices and environmental footprint through “Open Farm”, unveiling our new farming excellence strategy, collaborating across organisations to progress the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment He Waka Eke Noa, and continuing our work on behalf of farmers to encourage and challenge the Government to develop water and biodiversity policies that help us achieve our shared objectives while remaining workable for farmers.
From the middle of next year the focus of the country will shift to the election. Given the policy debates that have played out this year, farming will undoubtedly be a topical issue and we’re already working on how to engage with all the players, influence their election policies, and let you know where the parties stand on the issues that are important to you.
With all this said, remember to take some time these holidays to relax and reflect on what has been a massively busy year. It’s important to catch our breath and recuperate when we get the chance to. It’s also vital that over the summer we take extra care on farm. So stay safe and we wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Sam and Andrew