Tenancy reform has little to do with creating opportunities in farming according to John Pelham of Andersons Consultants.
Speaking at a breakfast briefing ahead of the second day of the Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Pelham said modern agriculture offered “endless opportunities” but that creating small starter units was not the way ahead.
“New entrant is a phrase that is banded about without enough thought being given to what it means,” he said.
“I have recently helped a young man to set up a large packhouse business which he is to run.
“He is 35 years old, very well educated and Romanian.
“He had come to the UK as a fruit picker and gained experience as his career progressed.”
Mr Pelham believed that would be the way ahead rather than young farmers trying against the odds to have their own small farm.
He said the recruitment process across the agricultural industry had to be improved to highlight the well-paid opportunities available right now.
Jeremy Moody of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers agreed to an extent but said part of the attraction of farming was being self-employed in a small business.
“Being a packhouse manager is not a dream they want to buy in to,” he said.
Mr Pelham’s colleague Richard King said: “If there is a buzzword from this Oxford Conference it is ‘resilience’.
“I was astonished to learn that even Defra now has a resilience group although I don’t know what it does.
“It was interesting to hear new Defra secretary Liz Truss here but there is a sense that she is just passing through.
“The reality is the farm minister in the UK has far less power than EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan.
“I thought that George Eustice (UK farm minister) and Richard Lochhead (Cabinet Secretary in Scotland) had an easy ride.
“CAP implementation is a big issue but the delegates let that slip past without questions.”