The NFU Business Symposium 2018 provided some members of FCG with the opportunity to hear from five leading agricultural professionals about the future of farming, the threats, the opportunities and of course… Brexit. The take away message for me though was the importance of quality data and reaching out to those who aren’t aware of the threats.
If you’re asking us “How do we make more money?” we want to know why, we need to get to the core of the problem to allow us to make an effective long-term plan that satisfies your personal and business needs. Quality data doesn’t mean who provides the best set of accounts or the most detailed fertiliser plan, it’s the data only you know about your farm, about your business. We want to hear what hasn’t gone well, what you’ve enjoyed and what you haven’t, what the family have thought about plans and what the future plans are for your family etc. At the first meeting it really is “Not what your consultant can do for you, but what can you do for your consultant.” Only when you share this ‘Quality Data’ can we create a quality plan that suits your exact requirements.
Everyone knows this data and information about their farm or business, but a problem that I believe faces UK agriculture is the 30-50% of farmers who don’t or haven’t recently used outside help. These are the farms at risk, as these may be the ones unwilling to change or adapt. The majority of the farming community voted for change in June 2016, now is the time to look at your business and see what needs to be done to stay ahead of the times. If you’re one of the farmers who asked for change but hasn’t prepared their business to change themselves then you may be at risk. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to look at your business model and ask “Where do I want to be in 10-15 years’ time and can I get there proceeding exactly as I am?” You should speak to your neighbours and ask them the same question, we want to be in an industry that is profitable and sustainable, and an industry that can be invested in and relied upon.
To discuss further, contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG office.