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    Posted 6 October 2003

    AVOIDING THE FICKLE HAND OF FATE through risk management will be the subject of a conference at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, this month.

    ‘The Management of Farming Risk’ is a conference designed to identify potential pitfalls, such as bad weather, pest infestation, disease, changing market prices or changing legislation. Delegates will leave with the strategies and tools they need to minimise the effect of such risks and achieve business stability.

    A spokesman for the conference organisers said: “The UK agricultural industry is in the midst of major structural change, driven by the globalisation of markets.

    “World demand for food will grow relentlessly. Consumers are also more demanding. A balance is needed to manage business risk whilst remaining competitive in this turbulent environment.

    “Risk Management cannot make a fundamentally unprofitable business profitable. Risk Management can however help protect a farmer’s assets and their hard earned money from the risks associated with farming.

    “By being a practitioner of Risk Management, a farmer can have greater control over the risks and financial returns, contributing significantly to ongoing business stability.”

    A panel of speakers will make presentations to the conference and chair a series of workshops.

    They include Nelson Maurice, senior underwriter at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, Barrie Florey, Head of Rural Affairs and Environment at Harper Adams and Roger Mercer, Managing Director of Mercer Farming Ltd.

    Christine Tacon, General Manager of farmcare (part of the Co-operative Group) and a member of the implementation group for the Government’s Strategy for Sustainable Food & Farming, will also join the panel.

    ‘The Management of Farming Risk’ will take place at Harper Adams’ Shropshire campus on Wednesday, October 29, 2003. Places are still available, costing just £94 per person and application forms can be requested from Conference Administrator Carol Evans on +44 (0) 1952 820 280.


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