No, this is not a new energy drink or breakfast cereal, it is an initiative that has been set up to help put land owners, who no longer want to actively farm, together with farmers or new entrants who want to start farming. The aim is to act as a “dating agency” for both sides to bring them together in some form of joint venture, e.g. share farming, contract farming, tenancy, etc., see http://freshstartlandenterprise.org.uk/
At a recent BIAC meeting I attended, Alison Rickett the managing director gave a presentation about Fresh Start and the achievements they have made to date. She showed a map of the number of farmers in England looking for a joint venture, which was quite encouraging.
The key with any joint venture is to be open and honest at the start as to what both parties’ expectations are, including level of commitment (labour and capital), expected income from the agreement, length of the agreement and where compromises can/cannot be made. After that it is essential to get the legal part right, i.e. what agreement are you going to use. Is it share farming, contract farming, a tenancy or something else? Getting this right at the start will avoid problems down the line and gives a clear format for settling disputes and winding up the agreement.
Fresh Start’s main focus is creating sound business relationships, offering training and mentoring for potential joint ventures along with matching the right parties. They do not however get involved with setting up the agreements. This is where we can help, as within the Farm Consultancy Group we have a wide range of experience in setting up and running various different joint ventures providing the legal documentation and the ongoing management to ensure both parties achieve their objectives.
If you are interested in discussing a joint venture please contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG office, in the first instance to discuss further.