Tag Archive: Great Yorkshire Show

Farmers Are Too Reliant on Subsidies as Brexit Looms

With just over six months to go until we officially leave the European Union (EU), Simon Britton, Partner at George F. White, highlighted just how reliant farmers across the North are on EU subsidy payments.


Our decision to leave the EU has exposed the farming industry’s over dependence on subsidies. According to the Farm Business Income (FBI) Survey, the average profit for a farming business in Yorkshire & Humber over the last 5 years was £103 per acre, farmers received £73 per acre, over the same period, in subsidies. In the North East, farm profits over the last 5 years have averaged £57 per acre, with farmers receiving £80 per acre from subsidies. Many farming businesses are dependent on subsidy; however, it is not clear that these businesses understand to what extent their dependence relies on EU payments.

To highlight these issues, George F. White hosted a panel debate at the Great Yorkshire Show. The purpose of the debate, in which key speakers, including 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 Miles Crossley and Simon Britton from George F. White, was to discuss how farmers can prepare for the long-lasting changes Brexit will create, focusing on changes to subsidy, increased commodity and currency volatility and shortages of labour.

Mr George Eustice, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recently described his vision for post Brexit Agricultural Policy within the UK as ‘a change in mind set for farmers.’ The Minister said that he saw new policy as ‘rewarding and incentivising farmers for what they do and not subsidising them for income lost’. He indicated that  the government will seek to support farmers, not based on the amount of land farmers own, but to reward them for helping the environment, water quality and to changes in husbandry, ultimately making more productive working practices.

DEFRA has set out its thoughts on a new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM) where farms and landowners will effectively quote a ‘price’ for the work based on a set ‘price list’. It is understood that those plans offering the best in value to the tax payer will be accepted.

Although we understand that farm subsidies are protected until 2022, my advice to farmers would be to utilise this time frame in order to fundamentally understand their business by preparing management accounts which will highlight farm income streams and to what degree their businesses are reliant on grants and subsidies. We can see from the previously mentioned statistics that the majority of farms in the North East and Yorkshire & Humber are hugely reliant on farm subsidy support. These farmers need to make changes to de-risk their businesses and ultimately future proof them, so they can operate with reduced funding support.

If you would like to start understanding and de-risking your business and its reliance on farm subsidies please contact Simon Britton simonbritton@georgefwhite.co.uk or 07866 721146.

Great Yorkshire Show: Join the Debate

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)

Great Yorkshire Show

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
Stand 201
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.”

Great Yorkshire Show


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

“Succession and what to do next were the hot topics at the GYS”

Despite the rain on Tuesday, the Great Yorkshire Show delivered once again and we enjoyed welcoming clients old and new, friends and fellow professionals to our stand. It really does demonstrate what a great county we live and work in. There was quiet optimism around with all sectors of our industry seeing a slight resurgence in pricing and with hopes of a decent harvest looming, the bank managers were hopeful of some overdraft reductions.

Many discussions were had and a common theme was succession and what should we be looking at next. Brexit clearly was a hot topic; I can’t stand listening to the doom and gloom merchants, at present it could be argued that for the agricultural sector it’s just giving us a lift and yes, we are all aware that agriculture may be used as a pawn in trade negotiations, but don’t forget we are not self-sufficient in most produce and so we have a market within our own borders. Its pleasing to see that Coop are using all British fresh meat from now and we should be supporting them and working closer with the trade to ensure this is standard practice. I believe the consumers are getting more educated in provenance and locality of food but we still need to be competitive on pricing and that’s often the issue of those trying to sell direct to consumers. When asked about what to do next, my message is for farming business to look at the opportunities and sectors that are not subsidised in order to protect for the future and split the risk and reliance on brown envelope payments.

The show is a great family occasion, often with 3 generations all present and talk turned on how to pass the farm on. For those agricultural tenants, planning a transfer of a generational tenancy requires a bit of thought and time in order to satisfy the strict requirements of the AHA 86. Don’t forget it’s the one chance for a landlord to get the farm back or negotiate a better package and I can’t stress enough how vital it is to plan early; don’t wait until death when there’s often nothing that can be done.

The financial burden of succession planning is often the biggest hurdle. If you’re an owner occupier, a vast majority of farming businesses will not be able to sustain the living costs of often 3 generations and families from the farm. Unfortunately, many have been sceptical about pensions (probably justifiably) in the past and just assume that the farm will support them, but this leads to significant added financial pressures in an already tight business. I urge you all to consider how you plan for this and that starts when you leave college. If you do see an increase in profitability, instead of ringing the machinery dealer, think about your families and the farms future; it may be more prudent to put into pensions, particularly now that they are heritable and can pass down the generations.

Great Yorkshire Show 2017

Diversification is a huge talking point in the current climate due to Brexit, and uncertainty within the rural sector, we wanted to take to opportunity to open the doors to diversification for farmers and rural businesses at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. We have organised a busy schedule of events that include seminars and live diversification case studies to wine tasting and our annual drinks party.

Great Yorkshire Show

Take a look at our schedule…


Great Yorkshire Show – Tuesday 11th July

11.00am – George F. White Stand (202)

Simon Britton and Miles Crossley look into a live farm diversification project with Park Lodge Shooting School to identify challenges and determine the factors that have contributed to its success.

3.00pm – NFU Stand, Sixth Avenue

Rural Practice Surveyor, Matthew Brown, and Head of Planning and Development, Richard Garland, give a Tenancy and Planning and Development update.


Great Yorkshire Show – Wednesday 12th July

9.30am – Seminar Room, Hall 1

Simon Britton explores the concept of diversification, looking at what business owners have already that could provide a new revenue stream and what diversification holds for business growth.

2.30pm – George F. White Stand (202)

Tony Cleary from Lanchester Wines discusses how diversification has allowed him to further pursue his goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-negative beverage business.

3.30pm – George F. White Stand (202)

Wine tasting with The Pip Stop, independent wine and beer retailer.


Great Yorkshire Show – Thursday 13th July

All Day – George F. White Stand (202)

Come and meet our Yorkshire Team and enjoy some light refreshments.



During the week we will be giving you the opportunity to enter various competitions to win some fantastic prizes from the likes of Park Lodge Shooting School, The Pip Stop and local producers, Tarte and Berry.

We look forward to seeing you there!