Engage is the message at AIC Conference

Engage with consumers was the main message for the agri-supply industry from a number of key speakers at the ninth annual Agricultural Industries Confederation conference.

A rousing speech from Joanne Denney-Finch Chief Executive Officer of IGD encouraged the industry to develop a greater understanding of the way that consumers behave and think, and this was supported by Dr Clive Black of Shore Capital Brokers, who gave an overview of the current economic climate.

Also supporting the ‘engagement’ theme was Ian Pigott, who spoke about the ‘Careers in Farming and Food Supply’ initiative, and emphasised the need to educate consumers, and young people in particularly, about the realities of the agricultural industry in the 21st century.

Agribusiness 2013, organised by AIC at the East of England Showground, was also the first opportunity for the industry to hear from the new Defra Minster of State, David Heath. Mr Heath acknowledged the vital role played by the agri-supply industry and responded positively to the opening address by AIC Chief Executive David Caffall, who pointed out the size of the contribution made by employers in this sector.

Other speakers included James Neville who talked about the work of Dairy 2020 in meeting the current challenges in the dairy sector, and Professor Giles Oldroyd from the John Innes Centre who gave a fascinating presentation on their research work including the development of nitrogen fixing cereals, and wheat with resistance to take-all.

“We had another excellent attendance of over 200 representatives of the industry, and the conference proved to be both stimulating and challenging. If we want people to understand our industry and to grasp new opportunities the agri - supply industry needs to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ in all areas of engagement and innovation. We need to develop a better and innovative way of communicating to the whole supply chain in the future,” said AIC Chief Operating Officer and conference organiser John Kelley.


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