Delegates were urged to make their voice heard in the debate about farming. David Webster, chairman of Safeway and IGD president, said it was important the grocery industry had its say because "every organisation with an axe to grind" would be making submissions to the Commission on the Future of Farming and Food. He warned the industry was facing more questions than ever: "If we genuinely want to keep Britain farming what are we as an industry prepared to do about it? "Should farming be purely market driven or should farmers have a responsibility for non-market activities? What would a switch to land management mean to costs and retail prices? "And given the events of September 11 do we need to take a more strategic and insular view of our industry?" Sir Peter Davis, chief executive of Sainsbury, and the only retailer to sit on the government's Commission, said this last point was vital. "I believe the country should be able to support itself should it need to. There are real issues which we are facing about the future of farming and food production. There are schools of thought about reducing food production in this country and turning farms into other areas." Earlier, Webster said many of the issues surrounding the balance of power in the food chain would be addressed by the long overdue code of practice now with the DTI. "We are still waiting for some indication of whether we are going forward with it or whether we will be required to renegotiate some of all of its clauses," he added. Webster said that he believed the IGD provided a perfect forum for debate about the future of food and farming in this country. {{NEWS }}