Farming News - Brexit Uncertainty must give way to planning for opportunity

Brexit Uncertainty must give way to planning for opportunity

21 Dec 2018
Frontdesk / Finance

The National Chairman of the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA), James Gray, has made a plea for Government and industry to work together in the New Year to build a solid platform for farm business development.

James Gray, TFA national chairman

“Since the EU referendum of June 2016, it feels like we have been merely marking time. This has affected everyone within the farming industry with plans for investment, progression and change all on hold. Although the Prime Minister has now postponed the Parliamentary vote on our Brexit deal until the second week of January, whatever the outcome, we need to press on to plan for the future,” said Mr Gray.

The TFA will be playing its part with a round of meetings for its members throughout England focusing on what tenant farmers need to do to secure their future. The TFA is also partnering with Farming Connect in Wales to put on three, tenant farmer forums in January looking at the unique issues faced by the tenanted sector of agriculture.

“It is crucial that we move quickly from possibilities to reality. Many tenant farmers with traditional tenancy agreements without successors will wish to take advantage of the Government’s plans for making lump sum payments of BPS through the transition to the new schemes envisaged by the Agriculture Bill. Equally, there will be plenty of new entrants and progressive farmers who will be looking to take advantage of the land that will become available through the restructuring that will occur,” said Mr Gray.

Whilst the TFA has traditionally focused its attention on the tenanted sector of agriculture, it is acutely aware that entrepreneurs without access to owned land will be offered opportunities on a whole range of possible agreements including tenancies, share farming, share partnerships, contract farming and grazing licences.

“The TFA wants to become the natural home for all those who farm land that they do not own, regardless of the type of agreement they draw up for their occupation or use. We want to ensure that entrepreneurs can secure the best agreements they can, which are fair to both them and the owners of that land and which enable them to progress sustainably in their business goals. We will always see farm tenancies as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of agreements, but we must also ensure that those operating under other agreements have access to good advice too,” said Mr Gray.