Written by Andrew Fundell.
The EDP Property supplement would not be the regular place that an Agricultural Business Consultant would be expected to write a blog.
However, the fact is that the majority of our clients do have a residential interest – be it in their farmhouse, the farm cottages or the barn that is now redundant for farming use – and that there is an interest in looking at development opportunities.
In our rural team, we have a unique structure with two disciplines working together as a single team. In the agricultural business consultancy division we deal with the minutiae of day to day farming and business decisions; and our land agency division who offer a full range of valuation, agency and advisory services for property and land.
All businesses have their own objectives and it is important that we clarify those from the outset of our involvement.
In the agricultural business consultancy division our core service is to benchmark the farming business against other businesses and if appropriate identify ways in which the farming business can maximise the use of its assets and ultimately make more of their farming business in line with the established objectives.
We can help business look at ways of reducing costs by working together with neighbouring businesses under a joint venture; by identifying environmental stewardship schemes that will help both the environment and the bottom line; by identifying ways in using the recently announced Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme grant to help investment in new technology; and sometimes simply by challenging the current way of doing things.
Agriculture is a great industry to be involved in at present. The recent inflation of agricultural land prices and associated farm rents have been previously documented in this blog, but the residential elements of a farming businesses balance sheet need also be appreciated.
What I don’t do is have and in-depth knowledge of the residential market, but I am fortunate that the residential team in theNorwichoffice have a valuable wealth of experience in the sales – be it via auction or private treaty, lettings and management of residential property that I can rely on to help give my clients the service.
Andrew Fundell is a Partner in the Norwichoffice of Brown & Co and can be contacted on 01603 629871.