2024 Farming Conference

A collaboration between Suffolk Agricultural Association, Fram Farmers and Scrutton Bland saw hundreds of farmers and industry experts come together at the Farming Conference 2024. Held on Thursday 29th February at Trinity Park, Ipswich, the conference focused on “How to Thrive, Not Just Survive”.

The day kick started with a thought-provoking keynote speech from Henry Dimbleby MBE, co-founder and former CEO of Leon restaurants. Focusing on the security and sustainability of the food system, Henry took us through changes in the food system in recent history, highlighted the issues of our current system as well as discussed recommendations for the future of food production.

A panel discussion on finance then followed with Grace O’Dwyer, Deputy Head of Agriculture at HSBC, Marc Otswald, Chief Economist & Global Strategist at ADM and Paul Harris, Private Client Tax Partner at Scrutton Bland providing their thoughts on the current financial climate such as interest rates, global economics and taxation issues, as well as answering questions from the audience.

Two further panel discussions followed throughout the day; talent & training and digital innovations. The Talent and Training discussion, hosted by Stephen Jacob, CEO of The Institute of Agriculture & Horticulture brought together opinions from Anthony Gardiner at G’s Fresh, Tom & Karen Halton from Halton Farms and Elizabeth Tree from Innovis. Practical tips and day to day examples of staff retention were discussed as well as questions raised about speaking to young people to inspire them to consider a career in agriculture.

The final panel discussion of the day looked at the technology advancements in agriculture and how farmers are best placed to utilise them. Belinda Clarke from Agri-Tech E hosted the discussion. James Forrest took us through the changes in technology on his farm over the years and Kevin Gooding, CEO of Diometer talked about Diometer’s open farms system, as way of utilising this data into workable information for all. Suffolk farmer, Andrew Williams from Home Farm Nacton then showcased their farm’s learnings of using automised machines on the farm.

The day gave much food for thought on a wide range of issues relevant to the industry today, as well as a chance to discuss, network and socialise. A total of £1036 was also raised for farming charity,  YANA thanks to the generous donations of attendees. You can listen back to the day by CLICKING HERE. Thank you must go to all the speakers and sponsors who made the day possible.