Our industry is populated by SME entrepreneurs who aren’t in general afraid of anything, but mention succession – whether through inheritance or retirement – and the tension levels rise.
I recently had the privilege of speaking to a farmer discussion group about succession planning. It’s a topic that’s close to my heart and this group’s honesty about its concerns and the actions planned or taken came from the heart. They were open, direct and clear about changes already made within the generations and the space made for the next one to come alongside. ‘Giving young people enough rope to hang themselves, but not the business,’ as Tim Calcutt would have said. Father-son/daughter combinations sat at the table, looking forwards together.
These discussions are compounded, of course, by the Agriculture Bill which already appears to be acting as a catalyst for succession change and is already sending shockwaves around the industry – and well it might.
You may have seen this table before, but it makes for stark reading.
Ten years is no time at all in farming. Plus we’re only talking about three years before the changes really bite and a mere five before support is halved.
In this context, the opinion of the next generation matters massively. If we are going to change a business, what effect will it have on them?
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Article by Mark Weaver Open PDF