The Three international Trade Scenario’s open to the UK government post-Brexit

The NFU have summarised the three international trade scenario’s available for the UK to adopt in an article called: ‘British Agriculture: The implications of a UK exit from the EU’.

  1. Free Trade Agreement between the Eu and the Uk – this scenario is most commonly proposed by those who advocate Brexit. Under this scenario agricultural  trade between the EU and the Uk is fully liberalised apart from the Uk Lamb exports to the EU, which the EU would deem as a sensitive product and therefore seek to limit.
  2. World Trade Organisation default position – under this scenario the EU applies its external Common Customs Tariff to UK exports and the UK applies the same rates set by the Eu’s Common Customs tariff to EU and non-EU country imports.
  3. UK trade liberalisation- under this scenario the EU applies its external Common Customs to the UK exports and the Uk applies a 50% reduction in those same rates to EU and non-Eu country imports.

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Diversification of farms: Mabie Farm Park

Mabie Farm was originally a successful dairy farm near Shieldhill, Dumfries milking 150 cows. However, with the dairy industry predicted to struggle in the future the farm decided to take a new direction but still remain in the industry they knew so well. Mabie farm had the vision of combining their expertise in farming with a child-friendly tourist attraction. Therefore, a farm park seemed to be the perfect venture.

The Farm Park now has up to 1000 visitors a day.

The farm showed the importance of having strong relationships with the local community during the Foot and Mouth Disease dealt in 2001. The farms 6 prize animals who had almost become pets had to be slaughtered. So great had the link become between the local children and the animals that Noblehill Primary School in Dumfries raised money to build a cairn to the memory of the animals culled. The clearing up operation meant closure for 6 weeks, but the support was tremendous and letters from visitors urging the Park to keep open prompted us to carry on.

Over the years we have also increased the variety and number of rare breeds of animals, and by improving their housing they can now be seen more easily by the public. Our aim of creating an experience of being close to animals in the great Scottish outdoors, combined with fun and excitement has proved very successful.

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Will a Student Cooperative be successful – Examples of similar programs in Texas and Poland

A student cooperative will be successful for many reasons but this can be explicitly evidenced in similar schemes currently taking place in Texas and Poland.

Texas student cooperative:

The Grow Texas scholarship program selects students from higher education institutions across Texas interested in advancing the Texas agriculture industry by increase educational opportunities for individuals.

Agriculture is a diverse field. The grow Texas scholarship program recipients have global perspectives and pursue a variety of academic courses of study, which will enable them to represent agriculture when they enter the workforce. They seek ways to combine agriculture with academic interests and become advocates for agriculture in the workplace

The Grow Texas program believes that more than ever, agriculture needs not only farmers  but also representatives in the areas of law, education, public relations, business and many other professions.

Last year alone the program had 9 successful cases of students that took part in the program.

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Texas-Poland Young Farmer Exchange Program:

This provides a five week agricultural leadership and learning experience abroad in Poland. It enables people to share information on policies and practices related to new research and technologies that support and encourage learning and information exchange between the European Union and the United States.

This enhances collaboration and cooperation between agriculture organizations, corporations, universities and governments in Poland/EU and Texas/US. This allows excellent relationships between Poland/EU and Texas/US to be built.

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How as a student with no farming experience can you help?

  • pexels-photo-238366We have set up the Student Farm Cooperative with the aim of connecting students from a range of backgrounds to farms across the UK and Europe. Our goals are to:
    • Share knowledge and expertise from both students and farmers to create more effective and productive farming processes. By this we mean that business students could help farmers with their business management and strategies, geography students could help with the sustainability of the business model and agriculture students could help with the day to day practicalities of life on a farm. In return, farmers could better inform students on how the supply chain works and create a much broader knowledge about the origins of British food – perhaps encouraging more people to buy British and therefore help our farmers in a post-Brexit climate.
    • Establish and maintain excellent relationships across the UK and EU. Eventually we hope to have young farmers from the UK visiting farms across Europe and vice versa to both help pool expertise and to create stronger relations, which in the long term can only be beneficial for trade.
    • Provide a broader education about farming for students in a variety of disciplines. Long-term we hope that this cooperative will encourage more young people to engage with British farming and at the same time help students broaden their horizons, making them more employable and encouraging a debate about sustainable farming practices.
    • Connect students to the origins of their food. Currently in the UK there is a discrepancy in the amount of knowledge about farming practices, leading to many a myth which can be harmful to the industry. Through this cooperative we hope to bust these myths and, in a post-Brexit world encourage people to support their local farmers instead of importing an excessive amount of goods.