Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

UK farming productivity - land use, innovation and the impact of policy developments

Morning, Tuesday, 18th June 2019

Central London


This seminar will discuss the next steps for improving farming productivity in the UK - with discussion on priorities for land management, innovation, skills and the impact of policy developments.

At a time of considerable change for farming in the UK with Brexit potentially having an impact on market access, welfare standards and future subsidy arrangements - delegates will discuss how best to promote and improve productivity on farm both through policy and through innovative technology and practice.

With the Agriculture Bill outlining movement towards a system of payment for ‘public goods’ in areas such as environmental and animal welfare standards - attendees will discuss how productivity fits into this mix and how best to design a payments system that promotes sustainability, stewardship and enables efficient and competitive farming.

With the 25 Year Environment Plan also looking at ways to improve soil health and incentivise sustainability and the draft Environment Bill considering the enforcement of environmental standards, further session will look at what more can be done to ensure farmers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to deliver effective sustainable land management drawing on examples of best practice domestically and from international stakeholders.

Delegates will also discuss the challenges and opportunities for driving wider technology use on farms, including how to improve the translation of research from industry and academia to the farmgate - including SMEs and small farms - and the opportunities for cross sector collaboration in both boosting research and improving take up.

Following recent commitments by the Secretary of State to more investment in research and development and the importance of technologies such as AI, drones, robotics and data, the seminar also considers the role of innovative and disruptive technology in improving farm productivity.

Keynote Speaker

Tim Mordan

Deputy Director, Agri-Food Chain - Innovation, Productivity and Science, Defra

Keynote Speaker

Tim Mordan

Deputy Director, Agri-Food Chain - Innovation, Productivity and Science, Defra


David Duguid MP


Mark Jarman

Head of Agriculture, Satellite Applications Catapult

Sam Watson Jones

Co-Founder, Small Robot Company

Dr Andrew Francis

Chief Economics Adviser, NFU

Susan Twining

Chief Land Use Policy Adviser, CLA

Professor Michael Winter

Director, Centre for Rural Policy Research, University of Exeter

Patrick Holden

Founding Director, Sustainable Food Trust