2nd October 2020


Rural Rap

NIAB-EMR HAS SECURED A £600K LOAN TO BOOST KENT’S CELEBRATED WINE INDUSTRY, reports the Kent Messenger and the BBC.  A team of viticulturists at the East Malling research centre have secured to cash to create a wine innovation centre with other industry experts.  It will be invested in helping growers boost their productivity, improve consistency and adapt to climate change.  The region’s wine industry accounts for more than 70% of the wine produce in the country.  In 2019, 3m vines were planted with the amount of land under vine rising by 79% over the past five years.  The funding was secured from SELEP under its Growing Place Fund.   www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/county-news/wine-scientists-toast-600-000-loan-234738/

WEST KENT MOTORISTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BE VIGILANT FOLLOWING A SPATE OF LAND ROVER THEFTS FROM OUTSIDE HOMES, reports Kent Police.  11 Land Rovers have been stolen since July from areas including Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Maidstone.  Detectives are treating the offences as linked and an investigation has currently led to the arrest of four suspects.  In some instances, vehicles fitted with keyless entry systems are targeted as criminals can use specialist tools to clone a fob’s signal.  Owners are advised to use a steering wheel lock, consider investing in CCTV, locking doors and windows, keeping keys away from windows, have the registration number etched into the windows and postcode on the underside frame.   kent.police.uk/news/kent/news2/policing-news/2010/warning-to-drivers-after-spate-of-land-rover-thefts-across-west-kent/

UK HORTICULTURAL GROWERS ARE TO BE GIVEN A FORMAL BALLOT ON THE CONTINUATION OF A STATUTORY LEVY, reports Farming UK.  107 formal requests for a ballot on the continuation of the AHDB Horticulture Levy were officially handed over on Tuesday, triggering the start of a process to run a ballot.  The Board said that it welcomed the opportunity for an “open debate” on the role of the levy collected from growers.  The strategy director stressed that this is about whether the AHDB will continue to provide a statutory levy-funded service to horticulture growers or not, it is not about looking at updating the way in which a levy was collected or how the levy is spent.  She went on to say that growers’ funding is used for horticultural applied R&D to address crop protection, labour, resource use and technical innovation.   farminguk.com/news/growers-to-vote-on-future-of-ahdb-horticulture-levy_56654.html

FARMERS ARE BEING FORCED TO ABANDON THEIR CIDER APPLES WHERE THEY FALL, reports the Guardian.  One Devon apple grower acknowledges his exceptional yield of heritage cider apples, describing it as a “vintage year.”  However, thanks to the pandemic, many apples will be left to rot on the ground because demand for cider and luxury juices has fallen dramatically.  Between 170,000 and 200,000 tonnes of cider apples are grown each year in the UK, and about 1.4bn pints of cider are produced.   theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/27/apples-from-perfect-harvest-rot-on-the-ground-as-demand-for-cider-slumps

BRITISH FOOD AND DRINK EXPORTS HAVE FALLEN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2015, reports Farming UK.  Exports declined nearly 14% to £9.7bn in H1.  Exports to all bar three of the UK’s top 20 export markets fell, with sales to China, Canada and Norway seeing growth in the period.  Of the UK’s top ten export product categories, only pork saw positive value growth, largely driven by exports to China.  While overall exports of branded products fell 7.1%, sales of branded products to non-EU countries grew 1.9%.   farminguk.com/news/uk-food-exports-fall-for-first-time-since-2015_56664.html

A NEW VIDEO SHOWCASING BRITISH FOOD AND FARMING WAS DEBUTED THIS WEEK, reports Farming UK.  SIAL China 2020 is one of the first large-scale food exhibitions to take place since lockdown and it was here that the new video was launched.  The postponed show, normally held in May, is considered the most important event in China for the meat sectors.  The clip has taken over a year to produce, with several different iterations edited to suit specific markets.  The AHDB said the video was all about “positioning British agriculture as a producer of high-quality, premium products.”    farminguk.com/news/export-video-shows-off-uk-farming-s-high-standards_56632.html


Invites you to join online in support of Kent RABI and Kent FCN. 

Sunday 4th October 2020, 17.30

This year, the service will be hosted online through Facebook and YouTube, and will be brought to you from Brookland Church on Romney Marsh. 

The service will beled by Rev Shuna Body, Rev Chris Hodgkins and Rev Dr Jonathan Arnold, with readings from Krisinta Boulden of Romney Marsh Wools. 


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

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