It’s served as a staple of the rural labourer’s diet for centuries.
‘A ploughman's lunch is an English cold meal based around bread, cheese and onions, usually accompanied by butter and pickle. As its name suggests, it’s most commonly eaten at lunchtime. It is particularly associated with pubs, and often served with beer.’
It sounds like the scene of a Thomas Hardy novel.
But I can see its appeal - when your plough is tied up outside, and you’re taking a break in between fields, you don't have time for a lasagne.
However, this humble fare is finally being forced to adapt to a modern age, having undergone a tongue-in-cheek rebrand by a Devon pub to reflect gender neutral sensitivities.
The rebrand to ‘ploughperson’s lunch’ has of course set Twitter alight with people incensed at a pub dish becoming a victim of ‘cancel culture’.
It sparked suggestions for alternatives including farmer’s lunch. But in terms of longevity, I think the word ‘farmer’ might be out on its ear soon too. Not because of gender sensitivities, but digital.
No more quaint yokel
We tend to think of farming as being traditional and rustic, and perhaps the last bastion of change, but it’s always been ahead of the game.
Just recently farming equipment giant John Deere unveiled its first self-driving tractor, which can be controlled by farmers using a smartphone and run 24 hours a day.
It comes with six stereo cameras, artificial intelligence, and GPS to allow it to be controlled from a phone.
This can run all night while farmer sleeps.
The company are keen to stress that this is not to replace them though. "It’s about using technology to create the best operator possible," it says.
Where have we heard that before?
It’s a common refrain that says rather than make people redundant, the right technology can enhance what we’re capable of.
Just as farmers become operatives, so will planners become something quite different.
But what? Well, artificial intelligence and automation will allow you to focus on deeper client relationships, coaching, and business development – no more spending time entering details into spreadsheets, completing reports or risk profiles.
Who wouldn’t want to generate leads, tend to new clients and maintain admin efficiencies while they’re snoozing/at the gym/ chomping on an operators’ lunch?
What do you think of the Tilney, Smith & Williamson rebrand? I give my two penny’s worth to FT Adviser in this article.
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