Unlocking that Farming Potential

7th December 2022

The Food & Drinks Sector Council’s latest report on increased productivity and sustainability in the agricultural sector calls on farmers to challenge their status quo against what they want to do and what they want to achieve.


Highlighting the numerous challenges faced on an almost daily basis, it focuses on maintaining farming profitability to ensure a future and stresses the importance of exploring the benefits of new schemes.


Recognising that within agriculture change needs to happen, it acknowledges that the ability may not exist in a single enterprise but that collaboration between those with assets and those with entrepreneurial expertise may enable positive outcomes. There would be a mutual benefit for both parties and increased social economic benefit for the country.


The critical phase of this process is to match those with resource, land ownership, property and capital with those who can exploit the full potential. Changes to the Basic Payment Scheme to allow early exits is one way in which change could be driven. Taxes could favour the landowner continuing to secure Inheritance Tax Reliefs. Although this could stifle innovation, an entrepreneur may look to use those assets differently. Research & Development Reliefs could offer substantial benefits to investment in a new approach.


How do individuals find each other? Clearly making one’s intentions known is a great starting point by word-of-mouth locally or through Social Media to open up wider possibilities. We already see some large charities operate farming enterprises in the UK. Can a market for those with philanthropic motives linked to farming be able to be harnessed to provide opportunities for new entrants? Will we see the village community pub model in farming? Can the food and drink supply chain work together with agriculture to ensure food security and quality of supply which benefit the whole supply chain in a mutually constructive way rather than one entity bearing the risk, as it currently does.


Where collaboration exists, there will be a need to protect interests in a way to maximise returns but also individual desires. Change will take time but given history, change will come via evolution rather than revolution.


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