Tag Archive: farming
Great Yorkshire Show is taking place on 9th – 11th July in Harrogate… and we can’t wait!
As always, we invite you to join us on our stand throughout the event to enjoy refreshments and meet the team. This year, we’ll be celebrating our 40th anniversary so make sure you don’t miss any of the action.
Schedule of Events
Tuesday 9th July
17.00 – Annual Drinks and Canapé Reception (George F. White, Stand 202)
Wednesday 10th July
14.00 – Join the Debate: Farming Without Subsidies, An Opportunity not a Threat (George F. White, Stand 202)
The impact of the impending Agricultural Bill is a key theme at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. We are now certain of the future for subsidies, and regardless of whether they are phased out in the next five, ten or twenty years, the agricultural landscape is changing and we need to adapt as an industry. Currently, 62.3% of Farm Business Profit in Yorkshire and Humber is made up of subsidy (2017/18 Farm Business Survey); we encourage landowners and Farmers to join our debate to understand, discuss and deliberate the current and future opportunities for safeguarding their future in relation to profit without subsidy, land values and rent.
We’ll be covering:
• How change will affect future profit, rent and land values;
• How to react to these changes and embrace opportunities;
• Preparing a business to make those opportunities available in the first instance;
Our panel will explain why their expert viewpoints differ due to the nature of their work within the farming sector, allowing you to make an informed decision as to how to take your business forward.
Talking ahead of the Great Yorkshire Show, Simon Britton, Partner at George F. White, said: “This time last year, we were in a position where we didn’t know what would happen to our farm subsidies; now the Agricultural Bill has been released, we know that subsidies are going to diminish in the next seven to nine years. Rather than dwell on this, we need to work together, discuss and share knowledge in order to review our businesses and ensure they can survive financial when they time comes. Interestingly, The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) named ‘knowledge sharing’ as one of the characteristics of the top performing 25% of farms in the UK. The changes that are coming will significantly impact farm businesses, however, the purpose of our debate, and the main aim of our farm consultancy team moving forwards, is not to scare people but to prepare our client’s businesses for the impact of the changes that will face us, as an industry, over the next few years.”
The debate will take place on our stand (202) at 2pm on Wednesday 10th July. Attendees are encouraged to get involved in the debate, asking questions and providing opinions on the opportunities that will be available to us in the next few years and the steps one must take in order to have those opportunities available to them, inevitably safeguarding their future.
Simon added: “Opportunities are available now and will continue to be available in the future to those that have truly analysed and understand their business; ultimately, we’ll be discussing what your businesses profitability will look like without subsidy and the affect that will have on rent and land value should you waste this period of adjustment to ready your business.”
Local farmer, James Thompson, has been welcomed back to George F. White as a Graduate Surveyor after a successful university placement year.
James re-joins our team to bolster the growing rural professional and farm consultancy services in our Shiptonthorpe and Bedale branches. James recently graduated from Newcastle University where he achieved a BSc in Agribusiness; the degree requires students to undertake a placement year, in which James carried out successfully with us back in 2016/17 and proceeded to impress the management team. Not only does James have an exceptional understanding of the business, he grew up locally to the area and boasts an outstanding level of geographical knowledge.
Simon Britton, Partner and Head of Yorkshire at George F. White, said: “We are delighted to welcome James Thompson back to George F. White; he is a strong addition to our growing team here in Yorkshire. A graduate position at George F. White is a great place for James to start his career; we have a strong team of eleven, in which over 65% were recruited at graduate level and are currently working towards or sitting in management positions. James brings a lot of energy and willingness to learn, a fantastic quality to see in a graduate and certainly the qualities that we expect to see in our employees. I am confident that James will continue to excel throughout his APC studies and over the course of his professional career, we promise to nurture his talent as we have his colleagues.”
James achieved a first class grade on his dissertation which focused on government policy in agriculture and farm diversification in the North and East of Yorkshire; in light of the current political climate, James’ research will prove extremely useful to local farmers and his agricultural background will allow him to relate to the day-to-day operation of a farming business.
On his decision to continue his studies at George F. White, James said: “Having lived locally to the Shiptonthorpe office, I knew of the strong reputation that George F. White has in the community. Whilst on my placement year I not only discovered that the employees at the firm are one big family but also have a great depth of knowledge in such a wide range of enterprises in the rural economy; I was over the moon to be offered a graduate position as I believe George F. White is the perfect place to learn and practise my knowledge to help me with my professional exams in the near future. “
Everybody appears to be talking about succession planning and it is all too easy to become numb to the advice which we are all getting from our bank managers, solicitors, accountants and land agents. Managing Partner, Robyn Peat, breaks it down.
So what is succession planning and why is it important?
The heading for this article could easily have been ‘A Stitch in Time Saves Nine’ however my heading ‘Planning for the Worst, Hoping for the Best’ cuts, I think, to the nub of the advice to have succession planning in place.
But why do we need it?
If you don’t plan for what you want to happen it probably won’t – that is to say what you want to happen will not, and when I say you I mean collectively; families, business, etc.
In terms of family business and generational businesses the key is who is going to end up with control of the business and secondly and possibly the same, who will own the business assets.
Families and farming families often find it incredibly difficult to in the first instance, be clear on who they want to end up running the business and owning it.
In these situations the unforeseen often occurs; no only interfamily strife, fighting and significant legal costs and stress but also the collateral damage of generational fall-outs and unforeseen tax bills.
So how can all of that be avoided?
- Work out how the family / the business is going to transfer to the next generations. The business may for example decide that for a number of reasons the plan isn’t that the assets are passed on to a member or a group of family members and everything will be sold and divided out or partitioned at a point in time. Whatever the decision this will probably be the culmination of a significant amount of discussion and preparation. It is in this process that a trusted advisor or someone coming in from the “outside” without any preconceived ideas or allegiances can help guide family decision.
- Remember that a equality doesn’t equal fairness. Sometimes depending on what the objectives are, assets should not be divided unequally. If a clear objective is that the farm will continue often if the assets are divided equally between all of the family members then there won’t be sufficient capital or a viable business. The guide needs to be a high level objective of say carry on the business or divide up the capital – rarely can both be achieved.
- Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog. Tax is really important and should follow the objectives rather than guide them. All too often schemes are set up to purely minimise tax but don’t actually achieve the objectives of the family.
- Do the detail. Once the headline is understood then the detail must be delivered and that detail often delivered by a team of advisors drawn is essential. There are many other key steps in the process however it is important not to over complicate the process. The essential steps are for example – what are the tax consequences of the plan and therefore values need to be scoped out and evaluated and how can the cash flow be managed and working capital raised – detailed business plans are required .
There are many tools at hand to balance the competing objectives of family members e.g.:
- Partition of land subject to overages to ensure a fair division of development value
- Payment of legacies
- trusts and company structures
Fundamentally however succession, planning is about avoiding unnecessary conflict and ensuring that what is wanted is delivered without unnecessary cost and conflict which is all too easily the outcome from a recipe of sibling rivalries, land capital and farming families.
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.”
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