Succession planning is essential for the future of our industry, and we support young farmer groups in the UK and Ireland in developing their skills, sharing knowledge and encouraging their passion for agriculture. Through sponsorship of national conferences, programs and walk the chain events, we have established integrated supply chains with premium branded product offerings, from groups like the Welsh Young Farmers Clubs.
Agricultural shows provide a forum to assist our farmer supplier community with market information and discuss sustainability issues. Larger food festivals attempt to bring urban and rural dwellers together and in so doing foster a mutual respect and appreciation of the value of this heritage, whilst showcasing local grown produce and promoting sustainability.
People must drive the solution to climate change, and we will engage employees to minimise waste, increase recycling and optimise water and energy use. We sponsor education and science to encourage innovation in sustainability and facilitate knowledge sharing.
Sharing knowledge and helping farmers – Producers on the frontline of climate change
We have been a supporter of the Young Farmers’ Clubs for over 15 years. They are one of the largest voluntary rural youth organisations in the UK and provide 22,000 members with the opportunity to develop their skills, travel and take part in competitions and engage with their communities. There are 598 clubs in England and Wales which are dedicated to supporting young people in agriculture.
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs is a membership organisation for young people who live and work in rural Scotland, with over 70 clubs.
The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster are a voluntary rural youth organisation, with over 3,000 members across a network of 51 Clubs.
We support events such as the Rural Affairs Conference, where we hosted a lamb selection workshop, virtual stock judging and carcase grading sessions, tours of our production sites and open days on farm. These initiatives helped participants to improve their understanding of market requirements and of the impact of on farm actions on meat quality.
We host an average of 10 walk the chain events every year, working with agricultural colleges and trade bodies to support knowledge transfer and enable participants to build a better understanding of the value chain. We establish relationships with suppliers and inform them of the market requirements which drive the specifications for their livestock, facilitating tours of our production facilities. Topics discussed include:
Outside of our UK and Ireland supply chains, many of the world’s farmers are experiencing the worst effects of climate change, and are in need of immediate support to manage the cost of adaptation. These farmers are on the frontline of climate action and have a fundamental role to play in restoring and protecting soils, forests and grasslands to secure future food supplies and enable carbon storage.
Climate change has led to more frequent and prolonged periods of extreme temperatures, as well as increases in flood events and droughts. Concern Worldwide works with communities that are impacted by these changes as they rely heavily on farming, fishing and livestock-rearing for their livelihoods. Increasingly, they find themselves in a precarious position.
We partnered with Concern Worldwide to aid communities in South Sudan to adapt their farming systems to become more resilient to a less predictable climate, and to improve the nutritional content of their production.
Concern has been working in South Sudan since 2010 and helped to establish an Agriculture Demonstration and Learning Centre in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Forestry.
Through this multi-annual partnership, we will fund training for 75 farmers at the centre, helping them to learn and develop skills in climate smart agriculture and agroforestry, the production of trees and crops/livestock on the same piece of land.
The project will help to improve year round production of crops, increase efficiency in the use of land and labour, protect and improve soil and biodiversity, and provide shade for vegetables and other crops that cannot tolerate heat.