Plenty of positives from Cereals 2010

Date Published: 11/06/2010

Our team enjoyed a very positive and pleasant (rain aside) couple of days at this year’s Cereals 2010 event.

Our CEO, Richard Jacobs (right), on the Oxford Farming Conference Panel
Our CEO, Richard Jacobs (right), on the Oxford Farming Conference Panel

This really is the key date in the calendar for cereal producers and all of the supporting services. We’ve got into the habit of teaming up with our partners at SAI Global (who work with us to provide inspection services that support our certification process) for the event.

Our Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, joined a high profile panel, including NFU President, Peter Kendall, on Wednesday morning for a show-based spin-off session from the Oxford Farming Conference entitled Science in the Arable Sector: Where are the ideas, which are relevant to cereal production?

It turned out to be a lively and very positive debate and the feedback we got tells us that Richard’s contribution opened a good few people’s eyes to the fact that the organic sector is not dominated by people with an ‘us and them’ attitude to organic/non-organic farming.

Richard (left) being interviewed by BBC Radio 4's Charlotte Smith, with Peter Kendall and (right) Prof Snape
Richard (left) being interviewed by BBC Radio 4's Charlotte Smith, with Peter Kendall and (right) Prof Snape

The panel session was followed by Richard, Peter Kendall and Prof John Snape, Head of Crop Genetics at the John Innes Centre, being interviewed by BBC Radio 4 Farming Today presenter, Charlotte Smith (we’re told that should be on tomorrow’s programme).

It was also a great couple of days for our team on the OF&G/SAI Global stand who spoke to a lot of existing and potential licensees.

They felt that this year was particularly good for networking – and lots of great food was being given away. Our Development Officer, Steven Jacobs, said he thought it was a good atmosphere and felt like people were determined to be working together for the good of the industry. They particularly enjoyed the beer poured expertly by the ladies at the Savills stand!

The overall positives of the event have left the team buoyed-up for the next key arable event for us – our very own National Organic Cereals 2010, at which we can focus with the delegates, speakers and exhibitors on the benefits and challenges of our own sector.

In the wake of the gloom that accompanied the demise of the Royal Show, it’s really encouraging to see that well-focused farming events are still well-supported and can be so productive. And as I finish this, Farmers Weekly is reporting a turnout of more than 25,000 people – a very healthy show.