Prior to the referendum the debates were heated and at times bad tempered, now the industry has to work together to make the best of post EU Britain.
Farming organisations have been arranging a series of meetings and policy documents and engaging with members to discover what post Brexit should mean for the farming and the rural community. They have been making sure agriculture is on the agenda when it comes
to trade negotiations. They need to hear from farmers about the risks and opportunities that are perceived and explore how these can be managed.
The government are asking for input on what farming policy should look like once we are out of the EU. The industry will want to maintain some level of government support but will this be forthcoming from a more urban focused population than Europe as a whole?
While SFP is protected at least until 2019 because our exit date is unlikely to before this, for many businesses it makes up more than their profit. Farmers are going to need to consider long and hard how they will manage with lower or no payments in the not too distant future.
Maybe payments will have a more environmental focus, but what hoops will need to be jumped through, at what cost to comply? Making your business stand alone without subsidy is more critical than ever. Innovative business plans, harnessing efficiencies, looking at diversifications are all on the cards; in short, emphasis on making your assets provide a better return on the capital that is invested.
With such scant information on what Brexit will mean, it would be unwise to downplay it; even though reports that the economy is bouncing back after the initial shock of the referendum result, especially as farming fortunes are usually counter to those of the general economy. It is important to remember that we are currently still members of the EU and there is no predicting what the impact will be on businesses once the trade deals are finally hammered out.
If you would like help with putting together business plans, or exploring your options, please speak to us.