Virtual farm meetings will debate sugar, livestock and rewilding challenges

The future of East Anglia's sugar beet industry will be one of the topics discussed at a series of v

The future of East Anglia's sugar beet industry will be one of the topics discussed at a series of virtual meetings hosted by the Norfolk YIELD network. Picture: Chris Hill. - Credit: Chris Hill

The global challenges of East Anglia’s sugar industry, the sustainability of its livestock sector and the future of its wild landscapes will be discussed in a series of virtual farmers’ meetings.

Charles Whitaker, managing partner at Brown & Co. Picture: Denise Bradley

Charles Whitaker, managing partner at Brown & Co. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

The online events are organised by Yield (Young, Innovative, Enterprising, Learning and Developing) – a rural business network for younger members of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Its next event at 7.30pm on October 28 is an exploration of East Anglia’s sugar industry from a global and local viewpoint with Charles Whitaker, managing partner of rural agency Brown and Co.

A Yield spokesman said: “The sugar industry has been part of East Anglian life for over 100 years. Sugar beet is a unique commodity, swayed by international and domestic politics. In a changing world, what is the future for this crop and the farm businesses for whom it has for so long been a staple of the rotation?

“Our speaker, Charles Whitaker, has extensive experience in land management, farming and farm business management in South America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe having established client and Brown and Co businesses in a number of countries over the last 20 years.


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“This puts him in a unique position to be able to discuss this fascinating industry and comment on its place on the world stage.”

Future speakers include Dr Jude Capper, a scientist and independent livestock sustainability consultant who will speak about the role of animal agriculture in helping to feed a hungry world using fewer resources. The event on November 25 is described as “an opportunity to bust some myths and debate the best way forwards for an industry which is often misunderstood and so many of us are so passionate about”.

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And on December 9 the group will hear from Prof Alastair Driver, director of Rewilding Britain, who will discuss how the growing national movement to inspire large-scale restoration of ecosystems, where nature can take care of itself, could relate to the Norfolk landscape.

• All meetings start from 7.30pm. To register for the Charles Whitaker meeting on October 28, click here to see the Yield network’s Eventbrite booking page. For the Dr Jude Capper meeting on November 25 click here, and for the Prof Alastair Driver meeting on December 9 click here.

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