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Welcome to the new reality

By Thomas Künzel

During the corona crisis the US technology index Nasdaq wrote the winner’s history. Boosted by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook it soared over the 11,500 point mark for the first time (August 2020), with a momentum more trend of the century than momentary flash. The corona pandemic accelerates the shrinking of traditional business models. Under the 20 largest digital enterprises, not one is European. And that’s how it’s going to stay. The alarm bell has been ringing louder and louder for years now. Corona means it can no longer be ignored.

The future of the farm business

And if we're being honest, the situation in farming is not any different. One thing is certain: The old business model incorporating »growing or going« or »only the bottom line counts« has lost its acceptance in society. What has been left by the wayside in the day-after-day craving for efficiency and optimisation includes the willingness to try out new methods, a healthy inquisitiveness and the courage to change perspectives. And the outcome? Well, there’s an old saying: Those who don’t reinvent themselves, in the end disappear!

There’s contention everywhere. The discussions over animal welfare, the fertiliser ordinance, biodiversity, or Brussels‘ »Farm to fork« strategy. Our sector finds itself in high-speed evolution. Now is therefore the time to consider the future of your farm. What are your strengths? Could you produce for the world market through cost leadership bound with good market access?  Or do you have the risk-taking temperament and courage to conceive completely new business models? Naturally, there are already farmers who’ve long since achieved this and are now well equipped for the future.  Are you one of those?

Nothing and nobody can avoid this change

And you, as entrepreneur, have this future in your hands. The challenge now is finding ways out of deep-rooted mindsets where conclusions are based only on explaining, even justifying, how things stand and how they were. Think differently! Question the status quo on the way to possible future scenarios. Change comes so quickly, progress is so fast, the information flow is so unceasing. There’s no time to lose.

The existential pressure currently burdening many farm businesses bound-up, as they are, with numerous uncertainties, rapidly leads to doubts and lack of perspective. This is understandable. But it’s the opposite of such factors: your creative thinking and imaginative planning, that are now the most needed characteristics in designing sustainable future scenarios for your farm. Don’t wait for opportunities, create them yourself. Don’t you hear that alarm bell ringing?