Tag Archive: European union
The last few months and weeks have been particularly fractious in parliament as to whether or not a Brexit deal will be struck or indeed any deal at all. Theresa May has confirmed that Parliament will get to vote on a Brexit Deal in mid-January. Here, Simon Britton considers the effect that Brexit has had on the way we think about our businesses.
Whether or not we are cut adrift from our European friends, Brexit has made farmers stop and think about how exposed and reliant their businesses are to European subsidy and support. As an example, according to the Farm Business Survey, the average farming business in the North East makes £71/ac profit, including £97/ac support from BPS in agri-environmental schemes. This is a stark figure and illustrates that, if indeed we do leave the EU and the current UK Agricultural Bill that is tabled comes to fruition, then there are a significant number of farming businesses that would need to make radical changes within their businesses in order to replace the income lost by the removal of farm subsidy.
For nearly a year, our 10 strong team of dedicated Farm Business Consultants have been working with our clients and contacts in order to give them an understanding of their exposure to the loss of subsidy and to understand how resilient their businesses would be moving forward.
I think that the past 12 months and the introduction of the draft Agricultural Bill, has been a catalyst for a number of farmers to understand the impact of the loss of part, or whole of subsidised support. I do think that all farming businesses that receive subsidy do need to review and fundamentally understand their reliance to different income streams, whether it be subsidy or livestock sales.
We have recommended to many of our clients that they prepare a Present System Budget, which will breakdown the turnover by enterprise and give a better understanding of how their business are structured. We can then carry out sensitivity analyses on income received from each of the enterprises be it livestock/crop sales or occupancy rates for their B&B. This will identify the reliance on each enterprise or income stream and what a shift in policy or price would mean to their turnover.
The UK government are already steering farmers towards this by offering competitive grants to improve efficiency and competitiveness, diversify their income streams, improve animal health and welfare alongside water quality.
As a nation, we wait, with baited breath, for the outcome of the Parliamentary vote and whether or not we exit Europe with a Deal or No Deal, if at all. Whatever the outcome, I hope that this has given farmers food for thought and allowed them the opportunity to understand and examine their farming businesses in more detail and hopefully act upon it.
If you would like to understand your business in more detail please contact Simon Britton.
Great Yorkshire Show commences in just a few weeks (10th – 12th July). As always, we invite you to join us on our stand (201) to meet our team as well as enjoying some light refreshments.
Schedule of Events
Tuesday 10th July
10.30am – George F. White Tenancy Update with Matthew Brown and Robyn Peat (TFA stand – 715)
5pm – Evening drinks and canapé reception (George F. White stand – 201)
Wednesday 11th July
11am – Join the Debate: the direct effects of Brexit on farming businesses (George F. White stand – 201)
Thursday 12th July
8.30am – Succession Planning for Tenant Farming Families with Matthew Brown (NFU stand – 680)
We predict that post Brexit resilience will be a key focus at the Great Yorkshire Show this year; we will be hosting a panel debate to discuss the effects a reduced subsidy environment will have on farmers, landowners and rural businesses.
Join the Debate: the direct effects of Brexit on farming businesses
George F. White
Wednesday 11th July, 11am
The key debaters are Geoff Hall, Regional Director at Lloyds Bank, John Lund, a livestock farmer, Tom Bayston, an arable farmer and owner of Park Lodge Shooting School as well as George F. Whites, Simon Britton and Miles Crossley, who will explain why alternative income streams need to be a key priority for the sector.
Talking ahead of the Great Yorkshire Show, Simon Britton said: “It’s clear now that there is a significant change in farm subsidies on the horizon and for many it could be substantially reduced. Mr George Eustice, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, recently described his vision for post Brexit agricultural policy within the UK as a ‘change in mind set for farmers’. The Minister stated that he saw new policy as ‘rewarding and incentivising farmers for what they do, and not subsidising them for income lost’ and indicated that the government will still seek to support farmers, not based on the amount of land they own, but by rewarding them for helping the environment, water quality and to changes in husbandry; ultimately making more productive working practices. This is a fundamental change to our industry and will significantly impact farm businesses. The purpose of our debate, and the main aim of our farm consultancy team moving forwards, is to prepare our client’s businesses for the impact of the changes that will face us, as an industry, over the next few years.”
Attendees are encouraged to get involved in the debate, asking questions and providing opinions on what the future holds in a subsidy free farming environment and how they can or are planning to safeguard their main farm business and what financial support exists outside of government grant opportunities.
Simon added: “Geoff Hall from Lloyds will talk about how banks can support farmers following Brexit through secured lending and cash flow support. Tom Bayston, will be illustrating how he’s diversified from the core livestock business to safeguard the future of his farm. Ultimately, we’ll be discussing what reduced subsidy looks like, what it means it terms of profit and loss for farmers, and how, if you’re a farmer or a landowner, why you’re in a prime position to provide long term security and stability to yourself and your business. It’s going to be a somewhat lively and energetic debate, so please join us if you can.”
Click here to RSVP
It’s less than 12 months until the UK leaves the European Union, a key political shift that will have sweeping changes for farmers across the region. To manage and adjust to the challenges this will bring, and ongoing uncertainty, financial resilience is vital.
Farmers need to focus on improving productivity, in order to increase future sustainability and, given the expected changes in funding and grants, the farming sector needs to move away from relying on subsidies and prepare for a future with reduced financial support by investing in new technologies, creating new revenue streams through diversification and concentrating on succession planning to ensure the longevity, and security, of their farm.
Having in place the right support for your farm business is therefore vital, not only to help you through these uncertain times but also to help maximise the health and profitability of your farm during good times too. Being proactive, and planning ahead, is more important than ever before and a good farm consultant helps farmers to push their business forwards, strategically plan for peaks and troughs all year round, and capitalise on opportunities that would greatly benefit you and your farm, helping to meet your personal and business objectives.
George F. White is one of the largest farm consultancy teams in the North and we’re currently working with a wide range of farms, large and small, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, reviewing the overall health of the business and proposing solutions to farmers to help them overcome the challenges they face. We understand that each farm is unique, and each farmer receives a bespoke service tailored to their specific needs and requirements.
We often hear that consultancy services are for huge farms, or those facing difficulties, but this really isn’t the case. What’s important is that you and your farm have the right support structure, whatever size or type of farm. What matters is developing a close working relationship with your consultant so that you trust them to advise you appropriately, to help you achieve the best outcomes for you personally and also your business.
Desk based consultancy isn’t going to achieve this, which is why our farm team have lots of face to face contact with clients, visiting farms regularly, looking at stock, crops, and machinery and assessing its strengths and challenges to decide where next to take the business, or strategically advise on what it needs at that time, whether that’s preventative measures, business planning and cash flow management, or preparation of funding briefs and farm budgets.
We’re not just a fair-weather consultancy either – we offer all year-round support to help you overcome business and financial hurdles, to maximise profitability. We understand it’s often difficult to let an outsider in, which is why establishing a strong, close relationship is vital from the beginning, working together proactively and planning ahead to help you get the farm business to where you want.
To discuss our farm consultancy services in more detail, contact Elliot Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org.