No matter what type of Brexit we’re heading for farmers can act now to prepare for the consequences. That was the message from AHDB Chief Strategy Officer Tom Hind at today’s NFUS Congress in Perthshire.
Tom outlined key findings from AHDB’s most recent Horizon Report – Brexit Scenarios: an impact assessment – which focused on potential post-Brexit futures and found that average farm profitability could drop from £38,000 to £15,000 a year in the worst case scenario.
However, farmers were advised that they could act now to limit any potential damage, through making the most of tools available to support agricultural businesses in Scotland.
Tom says: “I know for farmers it can seem like they have very little control on what the post-Brexit landscape will look like, however our analysis has demonstrated that the top 25% of farm businesses will be in a far stronger position to cope with any changes. Therefore we are encouraging all farmers to work hard to ensure their business sits in this bracket and take advantage of the various tools available to support this ambition.
“These include our new benchmarking programme Farmbench, as well as other Scottish industry initiatives designed to help farmers with their business competitiveness such as the Monitor Farm Scotland programme, the beef efficiency scheme and the farm advisory service.
“At AHDB we will also be creating more tailored tools to support businesses through Brexit as it becomes clearer what the future holds.”
During his talk Tom outlined the five key questions farmers should ask themselves as they consider the potential implications of Brexit on their business.
“Firstly they need to ask themselves whether they are taking the necessary time to step back and review their business. Then they need to look at their costs and compare them with similar businesses.
“They should ask themselves if they are making sufficient profit before direct payment, whether they have the skills they need to succeed and finally ensure they have a plan which takes into account the different possible post-Brexit scenarios.”
A new Horizon report which focuses solely on Scotland is due to be released in mid-November.