AHDB states that the sheep sector ‘is at a crossroads’ in its long-term outlook report
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) latest Horizon report has set the long-term outlook for the sheep sector in England.
The report, tilted “Opportunities for the sheep sector”, explores the evidence on what the next ten years might bring and how the industry can adapt to the changes ahead.
Evidence in the report has helped to shape the AHDB’s strategy for the sector, ensuring its activities and investment are instrumental in supporting the sector’s success.
AHDB’s David Swales, who authored the report, said:
We’re entering an era of significant change for the sheep sector, framed by challenges in the domestic market exacerbated by trade friction with our key trading partner the EU and the threat the loss of direct payments poses to farm business profitability.
“But our analysis has also uncovered many opportunities, whether it be capitalising on increased demand for sheep meat in Asia-Pacific, increasing value in the Halal sector domestically or providing digital solutions to overcome red tape.”
‘The sector is at a crossroads’
“The sector is at a crossroads and while doing what we’ve always done is not an option, the report provides a way forward for the whole industry to unite behind,” he added.
The four areas of focus identified in the report are preparing for policy change; increasing market access for sheep meat overseas; being ready to compete; and knowing what markets require and reward with the report conclusions highlighting where different businesses and organisations can play a role.
Rebecca Miah, AHDB beef and lamb strategy director, added:
This report shines a light on the sheep sector, asking difficult questions about the future and coming up with solutions.
“Its compilation from insight across the industry also shows the strength of working together, we hope it will form a common evidence base from which as a whole we focus on overcoming the challenges and capitalising on the opportunities to create a thriving sheep sector,” she concluded.