Lessons from the UK Farming Industry

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Adam Barber
May 28, 2012
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Lessons from the UK Farming Industry

Growth often comes from the most unexpected of places.

Take UK farming. Last year, the market was one of the most profitable industries of them all, creating 10,000 jobs and lifting aggregate net profits up 25%, to £5.7 billion.

In fact, measured against the other sectors within the FTSE 100, only oil and gas were reported to have returned bigger growth. (And we all know how that feels!)

The findings, released by the NFU last week, were a surprise to many and a reminder to others that if you get it right, European farming is still fighting fit.

So how then, can the wider renewable energy industry (that is itself bringing in a regular harvest) capitalise on this wave of newfound landowner optimism and perhaps most important; make hay?

Just as it is in farming, the answer isn’t always terribly simple. Nevertheless, when you look behind the curtain, it’s worth noting that the markets share some common ground.

First, there’s that all too sensitive issue of the subsidy.

Within farming it’s the sort of thing that conjures up the traditional grumbling, particularly as agricultural enterprises battle to maintain margins in the face of declining incentives from the EU.

And if ever-changing sector subsidies and incentives sound all too familiar, then why not factor in the longer term macro trends such as population growth, pressure on available land resource?

All common challenges that are not too far removed from the industry battles of our own. Only that’s not the half of it because there’s something else.

An issue that strikes right at the heart of why these two industry’s share closer ties than one might have previously thought.

In short, it’s that ever-growing need for self-sufficiency, security and independence. A desire to no longer be at the mercy and the whim of other markets. And an issue that plays out on an international, national and local level every day of the week.

As one corner of the international farming industry basks in the spotlight and as the individuals behind the campaign work hard to reposition the sector as a driver, not a drag, on the global economy, perhaps there’s a lesson here, for us all?

Growth often comes from the most unexpected of places.

Take UK farming. Last year, the market was one of the most profitable industries of them all, creating 10,000 jobs and lifting aggregate net profits up 25%, to £5.7 billion.

In fact, measured against the other sectors within the FTSE 100, only oil and gas were reported to have returned bigger growth. (And we all know how that feels!)

The findings, released by the NFU last week, were a surprise to many and a reminder to others that if you get it right, European farming is still fighting fit.

So how then, can the wider renewable energy industry (that is itself bringing in a regular harvest) capitalise on this wave of newfound landowner optimism and perhaps most important; make hay?

Just as it is in farming, the answer isn’t always terribly simple. Nevertheless, when you look behind the curtain, it’s worth noting that the markets share some common ground.

First, there’s that all too sensitive issue of the subsidy.

Within farming it’s the sort of thing that conjures up the traditional grumbling, particularly as agricultural enterprises battle to maintain margins in the face of declining incentives from the EU.

And if ever-changing sector subsidies and incentives sound all too familiar, then why not factor in the longer term macro trends such as population growth, pressure on available land resource?

All common challenges that are not too far removed from the industry battles of our own. Only that’s not the half of it because there’s something else.

An issue that strikes right at the heart of why these two industry’s share closer ties than one might have previously thought.

In short, it’s that ever-growing need for self-sufficiency, security and independence. A desire to no longer be at the mercy and the whim of other markets. And an issue that plays out on an international, national and local level every day of the week.

As one corner of the international farming industry basks in the spotlight and as the individuals behind the campaign work hard to reposition the sector as a driver, not a drag, on the global economy, perhaps there’s a lesson here, for us all?

Growth often comes from the most unexpected of places.

Take UK farming. Last year, the market was one of the most profitable industries of them all, creating 10,000 jobs and lifting aggregate net profits up 25%, to £5.7 billion.

In fact, measured against the other sectors within the FTSE 100, only oil and gas were reported to have returned bigger growth. (And we all know how that feels!)

The findings, released by the NFU last week, were a surprise to many and a reminder to others that if you get it right, European farming is still fighting fit.

So how then, can the wider renewable energy industry (that is itself bringing in a regular harvest) capitalise on this wave of newfound landowner optimism and perhaps most important; make hay?

Just as it is in farming, the answer isn’t always terribly simple. Nevertheless, when you look behind the curtain, it’s worth noting that the markets share some common ground.

First, there’s that all too sensitive issue of the subsidy.

Within farming it’s the sort of thing that conjures up the traditional grumbling, particularly as agricultural enterprises battle to maintain margins in the face of declining incentives from the EU.

And if ever-changing sector subsidies and incentives sound all too familiar, then why not factor in the longer term macro trends such as population growth, pressure on available land resource?

All common challenges that are not too far removed from the industry battles of our own. Only that’s not the half of it because there’s something else.

An issue that strikes right at the heart of why these two industry’s share closer ties than one might have previously thought.

In short, it’s that ever-growing need for self-sufficiency, security and independence. A desire to no longer be at the mercy and the whim of other markets. And an issue that plays out on an international, national and local level every day of the week.

As one corner of the international farming industry basks in the spotlight and as the individuals behind the campaign work hard to reposition the sector as a driver, not a drag, on the global economy, perhaps there’s a lesson here, for us all?

Growth often comes from the most unexpected of places.

Take UK farming. Last year, the market was one of the most profitable industries of them all, creating 10,000 jobs and lifting aggregate net profits up 25%, to £5.7 billion.

In fact, measured against the other sectors within the FTSE 100, only oil and gas were reported to have returned bigger growth. (And we all know how that feels!)

The findings, released by the NFU last week, were a surprise to many and a reminder to others that if you get it right, European farming is still fighting fit.

So how then, can the wider renewable energy industry (that is itself bringing in a regular harvest) capitalise on this wave of newfound landowner optimism and perhaps most important; make hay?

Just as it is in farming, the answer isn’t always terribly simple. Nevertheless, when you look behind the curtain, it’s worth noting that the markets share some common ground.

First, there’s that all too sensitive issue of the subsidy.

Within farming it’s the sort of thing that conjures up the traditional grumbling, particularly as agricultural enterprises battle to maintain margins in the face of declining incentives from the EU.

And if ever-changing sector subsidies and incentives sound all too familiar, then why not factor in the longer term macro trends such as population growth, pressure on available land resource?

All common challenges that are not too far removed from the industry battles of our own. Only that’s not the half of it because there’s something else.

An issue that strikes right at the heart of why these two industry’s share closer ties than one might have previously thought.

In short, it’s that ever-growing need for self-sufficiency, security and independence. A desire to no longer be at the mercy and the whim of other markets. And an issue that plays out on an international, national and local level every day of the week.

As one corner of the international farming industry basks in the spotlight and as the individuals behind the campaign work hard to reposition the sector as a driver, not a drag, on the global economy, perhaps there’s a lesson here, for us all?

Growth often comes from the most unexpected of places.

Take UK farming. Last year, the market was one of the most profitable industries of them all, creating 10,000 jobs and lifting aggregate net profits up 25%, to £5.7 billion.

In fact, measured against the other sectors within the FTSE 100, only oil and gas were reported to have returned bigger growth. (And we all know how that feels!)

The findings, released by the NFU last week, were a surprise to many and a reminder to others that if you get it right, European farming is still fighting fit.

So how then, can the wider renewable energy industry (that is itself bringing in a regular harvest) capitalise on this wave of newfound landowner optimism and perhaps most important; make hay?

Just as it is in farming, the answer isn’t always terribly simple. Nevertheless, when you look behind the curtain, it’s worth noting that the markets share some common ground.

First, there’s that all too sensitive issue of the subsidy.

Within farming it’s the sort of thing that conjures up the traditional grumbling, particularly as agricultural enterprises battle to maintain margins in the face of declining incentives from the EU.

And if ever-changing sector subsidies and incentives sound all too familiar, then why not factor in the longer term macro trends such as population growth, pressure on available land resource?

All common challenges that are not too far removed from the industry battles of our own. Only that’s not the half of it because there’s something else.

An issue that strikes right at the heart of why these two industry’s share closer ties than one might have previously thought.

In short, it’s that ever-growing need for self-sufficiency, security and independence. A desire to no longer be at the mercy and the whim of other markets. And an issue that plays out on an international, national and local level every day of the week.

As one corner of the international farming industry basks in the spotlight and as the individuals behind the campaign work hard to reposition the sector as a driver, not a drag, on the global economy, perhaps there’s a lesson here, for us all?

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Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.