“Fair doesn’t necessarily mean equal” is a phrase I find myself frequently using when discussing succession.
With the value of a farm usually intrinsically tied up in the assets required to run the business, any attempt to release capital by selling assets (in practise, often land) can sometimes undermine the business.
The clue was always in the name. The Environment Act, which recently became law and sets out the post-Brexit policy framework for farming, was always going to be more about the environment that it was about agriculture.
Watching the terrible scenes unfold in Ukraine over recent weeks has remined us all of how lucky we are in so many ways – but it’s also raising a host of huge questions, and how we use our land is one of them.
There is now more reason than ever to consider entering a Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme, with the long-awaited revision of rates recently announced.
While Environment Secretary George Eustice’s suggestion that the new payments represent a 30% rise seems a tad optimistic, the figures for many options have increased – and in some cases substantially.
Article by Kevin Jay Open PDF
Well, what a superb event the Vineyard & Winery Show was – well attended, well organised and with a buoyant, buzzy atmosphere.
It was heartening to see visitors so excited about the future and, while the topics under discussion were varied, one subject came up repeatedly – how the practise of leasing land is likely to become increasingly widespread in the sector.
Meet one of CLM’s farm and environment consultants – Georgina Wallis……
Article by Georgina Wallis Open PDF
An expression I’ve often used in my consultancy career is “If in doubt, do nowt”.
Faced with uncertainty, sometimes the right answer is to do nothing. But for many farmers, at the moment, it is not the best approach.
Yes, he sometimes acts the fool, but the show convincingly conveys how tough agriculture is and highlights the challenges farmers face – whether that’s technical, mechanical, meteorological or bureaucratic.
Article by Anthony Weston Open PDF
In practice, many farmers lack this, making it almost impossible to make informed decisions, and right now they need to be making these more than ever before.
A lot of businesses are at a crossroads, with the phasing out of BPS, the transition to ELMS, Brexit and the prospect of tax changes quite rightly making many question what they are doing.
Readers over a certain age might remember a BT ad featuring the catchphrase: “It’s good to talk”.
It was encouraging us, in a pre-mobile era, to pick up the telephone, but the adage remains apt – and no more so than when it comes to succession planning.
In the end the finale was something of a disappointment.
Fifteen years after my appointment as Executor for the administration of what has felt like a modern-day version of Jarndyce & Jarndyce (the long-running legal dispute in Dickens’ Bleak House), we sat in splendid isolation on a Zoom conference.