A New Era… A New Opportunity
God bless the Queen, and long live the King
Recent years have been tumultuous to the point of mass fatigue. The Great Financial Crisis, the Scottish independence referendum, Brexit, the pandemic – and then the awful invasion of Ukraine. Amongst all this, we in the UK and the Commonwealth had one, positive constant. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. Our Queen’s passing is a loss to us all and we at Coriolis give thanks to her.
The Queen’s passing comes at a time of considerable economic distress, epitomised by the energy crisis and the impact it’s had on Britain’s food industry. Hence, it was all the more remarkable that her death corresponded with the end of the Johnson premiership, and the appointment of Prime Minister Truss – who we congratulate and wish all the best.
Whilst a time of thanks, reflection, respect and contemplation are necessary amidst Her Majesty’s passing, there remain challenges that need to be faced for the good of the British food industry and the wider economy in my view.
One is not naive to the scope for immediate and structural change for the better, but at least a better basis has emerged under the new DEFRA Minister, Ranil Jayawardena. The Agri-Food sector provides material components of the British economy that should be seen in a new light. Especially following the problems caused by the aforementioned pandemic and war in Europe.
Food security needs to go up the strategic policy agenda. Britain should seek to increase domestic production, and learn lessons from the failed elements of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (‘CAP’). This will gradually reduce import penetration in the UK market, and develop self-sufficiency that contributes to our competitiveness in international markets. But as we see in Denmark, Ireland and New Zealand, we need a Government that is joined up in supporting our food production industries.
Sustainably will play a large part. There is an immense opportunity to bring together our world-class research capabilities to build agricultural productivity and output, whilst using less inputs on a sustained basis. So, we need to aim to produce more arable, dairy, horticulture and livestock with fewer inputs, in order to create better environmental outputs and sustain our world leading animal welfare standards.
As we enter a new era, the Government must seize the opportunity to re-engage with Britain’s Agri-Food sector. This would help materialise a sustainable, more ample and secure supply of domestically produced food that meets the needs of our great nation and our new King – we wish King Charles III all possible good fortune.
Coriolis is part of the solution to the industry’s productivity. It has accessible capabilities that – in an applied manner – help improve the food industry’s financial performance. As such, amongst the cost challenges, Coriolis is a resource I would recommend engaging with. Get in touch with the Chair, Mark Dudley, and find out what he and his team can do for you.
Dr Clive Black