With the future of rural UK up in the air due to the uncertainty of Brexit, it is more important now than ever before to be focusing on how to make sure that the future is secure and in good hands. A proven way to do this is through diversification. By making sure that a rural business is not wholly reliant on one singular form on income, it makes the entire business more secure. The other focus that farmers and rural business owners need to take into account is literally, whose hands will be holding the business? According to DEFRA’s rural population report in 2014/2015 “Less than 50 per cent of those living in rural areas are aged below 45 years, compared with almost 60 per cent in urban areas, and overall there are proportionately fewer younger people living in settlements in a sparse area.*” This means that the future of rural Britain is even more reliant on inspiring and retaining the youth of today.
Of course over the last half a century the assumption that children will take over the family farm is no longer an automatic one. This is not news. What is changing however is that new technology is starting to turn the tide back to family run farms staying in the family. High tech gadgets are continuing to play a bigger and bigger role in farming and rural business, from weed killing drones, and automatic milking machines, to robots harvesting fields with water blades, more farmers and rural businesses are coming to see the advantages of embracing new technology. The digital influence of companies such as Amazon have also begun to make an impact in increasing rural businesses presence in the larger market. These changes combined are having a huge impact on getting the younger generation to be more involved in the family farm.
The crux of this change is positive. With the array of new technologies on the market and the importance of diversifying revenue streams, the next generation has a solid base for making sure the UK farms and rural businesses stay stable and profitable, regardless of what is happening with the divorce from the EU. However there is another issue - succession planning. Working out the legalities and fees of inheritance and succession planning can be an overwhelming prospect, even once you have settled on who will be succeeding to run the business. The best way to tackle this problem is through knowledge of the subject. The Farm Business Innovation Show, which is taking place November 8th and 9th at the NEC in Birmingham is running a Succession Planning Panel at the event and has several exhibitors dedicated to this delicate issue.
If you are looking into the possibility of diversification for your farm or rural business, have just taken over your family business or are likely to in the near future the Farm Business Innovation Show is the ideal place to find all the tools, products, resources, and inspiration you need to make your business as profitable as possible. You can register for free ticket to attend above.
Can you help others with their rural diversification or succession planning needs? There are a few coveted stands left to exhibit at the event. If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsorship get in touch with Event Director Gary Hall on 0117 929 6087.