The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

It’ s sur­vival of fittest for farms in post-Brexit era

Sem­i­nar: Warn­ing that tra­di­tional Scot­tish units will have to be more ef­fi­cient

- BY GEMMA MACKEN­ZIE Business · Agriculture · Industries · Inverurie · The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited · Aberdeenshire · Scotland · Bidwells · Ian Williams · John Robertson

Tra­di­tional Scot­tish farm busi­nesses may not be sus­tain­able in the long term.

That was the stark mes­sage de­liv­ered to farm­ers, es­tate own­ers and ad­vis­ers at a ru­ral sem­i­nar in In­verurie.

Speak­ers at the event, or­gan­ised by land agency Bid­wells, ac­coun­tancy firm Camp­bell Dal­las and HSBC, warned that tra­di­tional farm set-ups would strug­gle to sur­vive in a post-Brexit era un­less they trans­form to be­come more ef­fi­cient or look at ways of di­ver­si­fy­ing.

Ian Wil­liams, of Bid­wells in Aberdeen, said: “It is clear that there is a huge amount of change af­fect­ing all busi­nesses and the re­sponses to that will de­ter­mine which busi­nesses flour­ish in the fu­ture and which fail.”

Camp­bell Dal­las partner Ian Wil­liams said farm­ers should team up with their neigh­bours and form sup­ply groups to sell pro­duce to su­per­mar­ket chains such as Aldi.

He re­called the re­tailer’s a visit to Scot­tish head­quar­ters and said: “They (Aldi) want Scot­tish pro­duc­ers and they want ev­ery­one to have a story to tell. They have plans in place for new prod­ucts and they are ac­tively look­ing to dis­place im­ported prod­ucts with those pro­duced in Scot­land.”

As a start­ing point for look­ing at this, or any other new ven­ture, Mr Wil­liams rec­om­mended writ­ing a full plan with goals for ev­ery­one in the busi­ness to un­der­stand.

HSBC agri­cul­ture di­rec­tor John Robert­son backed this plea and said it would be vi­tal when seek­ing fund- ing for new ven­tures. He said that although there were likely to be chal­lenges ahead, the bank was not wor­ried be­cause the farm­ing sec­tor was re­silient.

Mr Robert­son added: “Farm­ers have coped with ev­ery­thing that’s been thrown at them over the year. They have a great com­mod­ity in food and what­ever hap­pens, they will sur­vive.”

 ??  ?? STARK MES­SAGE: Speak­ers at the event warned that tra­di­tional farm set-ups will strug­gle to sur­vive in a post-Brexit era
STARK MES­SAGE: Speak­ers at the event warned that tra­di­tional farm set-ups will strug­gle to sur­vive in a post-Brexit era

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK