>>what’s tempted King to go to JS? And does the uk need to farm?

When we caught up with Justin King this week, he was being suitably discreet about what he said - which was very little - as he sailed out of M& S to start his “gardening leave”. But King was quick to laugh off the suggestion that many people didn’t believe he would take the top job at Sainsbury. And his reply was typically forthright: “Why would you think that?”
Well, there are lots of reasons for not taking the job - and they have been well documented in recent weeks. So what could have persuaded King to join JS?
There’s the money, of course. It’s also worth remembering that in the first major interview he gave at M& S - which was with The Grocer two years ago - King made clear his ambition and revealed that his gameplan was to end up running what he called “a decent-sized business”. Well, he’s got that alright.
King must also have been persuaded that by the time he sails into Holborn next spring, the Sainsbury business will be in the right shape to start generating meaningful topline growth. King is a good operator - and one of the things he demonstrated at M&S was an ability to make a quality-focused business find new ways to drive volumes. That’s what Sainsbury admits it now needs to start doing. And King could be the man to help them do it. But given the highly competitive nature of the grocery market, the self-confessed yachtie will not find it plain sailing.

I had a fascinating chat with influential Labour backbencher, and former retailer, Tony Colman this week.
Tony’s a worried man. He thinks that while everybody is rightly concerned about the future of British farming, nobody is tackling the fundamental issue, namely: do we actually need a farming industry? If we don’t - because other countries can produce food more cheaply than us and falling trade barriers mean they will be able to sell it to us - shouldn’t we be debating how best to wind down our farming industry rather than how to save it? Just as steel and coal are now little more than niche activities in this country, Tony reckons the same will happen to farming. I don’t agree. But he’s right about one thing: nobody in government, farming or food is brave enough to ask such a question.
it won’t be plain sailing
Do we need them?