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Island benefits from attendance at farming gathering

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Attendance at a major farming conference enabled the Island to forge closer links with neighbouring jurisdictions, understand the possible implications of Brexit in more depth and view businesses that are successfully adapting to changing markets. 

Tim Baker MHK headed a delegation from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture that attended the Oxford Farming Conference.

The event has an 80-year history and is viewed as the UK’s most significant farming conference.

Among speakers were the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), George Eustice MP, Minister of State for DEFRA, Calum Kerr MP, the Scottish National Party’s Westminster spokesman for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Michelle McIlveen MLA, Minister for the newly formed Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland.

The conference had the theme ‘Thrive or Survive’, reflecting the move to a stronger business focus in farming.

Mr Baker said:

‘The Programme for Government commits us to engage with the UK and others to ensure the best possible outcome from Brexit for the Isle of Man. Although it’s an ever-evolving position, it was useful to hear the latest thinking in this area.

‘It was also helpful to establish relationships with senior figures from neighbouring jurisdictions, both in politics and the farming industry.

‘We also saw examples of innovative, market-focused businesses that were successfully growing new opportunities. This knowledge will be important as we continue to deliver our Food Matters strategy to grow the value of food and drink to our economy.’

For more information on the conference, visit

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