The Prince’s Countryside Fund held its first ‘Future Farmers Forum’ at Aldi HQ in Atherstone on Wednesday 22nd January.
Thirty ambitious young farmers from all around the UK attended the day. During the morning, the attendees had a tour of Aldi’s regional distribution center, followed by presentations on access and entry to farming, with a forward thinking talk on regenerative agriculture during lunch. The afternoon consisted of a series of talks on topics including policy, environment, marketing, mental health and succession, followed by an interactive and thought-provoking speed networking session on these topics allowing the delegates to delve deeper into subjects such as promoting British agriculture and the future of UK trade post-Brexit. The day concluded with a question and answer session with the speakers, leaving the attendees with lots to think about and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of the future.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying, said: “We were delighted to host the first Future Farmers Forum and are proud to support the next generation of young farmers through our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund.”
Aldi has supported six of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme groups over the last two years: Kirkby Stephen, Brecon, Cairngorms, Huntly, Oswestry and South Hams. The Programme is comprised of a series of workshops delivered by experts, and looks at topics such as practical cost management, business planning, succession and managing your farmed environment, to help farmers prepare for the future.
Gareth Parker, a Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme Farmer from an Aldi group said: “The Future Farmers Forum offered a great insight into the opportunities and challenges which we face in very changeable times. There was an excellent range of topics discussed in great detail, and the day was brilliantly hosted by Aldi, who highlighted the importance of UK agriculture and the complexity of their business being on the front line of the retail sector. The Prince’s Countryside Fund is offering great support and education to the industry through the Future Farmers Forum and The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, both of which have been very eye opening.”