Embracing change

Thrings expert joins discussion on diversification in Farmers Weekly webinar

Thrings’ Jonathan Thompson took his place on a panel of experts earlier this month as more than two hundred members of the UK agriculture community registered for an online discussion about the opportunities, challenges and the potential pitfalls of farm diversification.

Organised and hosted by Farmers Weekly as part of its Business Clinic series, the webinar gave attendees the chance to quiz industry experts about the legal, financial and property practicalities of diversification and share their individual experiences of non-farming enterprises.

Jonathan - a senior associate in Thrings’ Agriculture team – was joined on the panel by Nicola Quick from property agents Carter Jonas’ rural team, and Freddie Braithwaite-Exley from A-Plan Rural Insurance, which provides insurance solutions for the rural community.

Business ownership, leases and tenancies, business structures, planning, food safety, and product and public liability also featured during the webinar which was chaired by Suzie Horne, business editor at Farmers Weekly.

Click here to read Farmers Weekly’s review of the diversification webinar. It is also available to watch on demand via Farmers Weekly’s website and YouTube channel.

The webinar came in the wake of a study by rural insurer, NFU Mutual1, which reported a six-per-cent rise in the proportion of farmers with a diversified business between 2020 and 2021. Farmers’ income from diversification as a percentage of total turnover increased (to 16%) during the same period.

The survey also revealed the reasons behind the rise in alternative enterprises such as renewable energy, holiday lets, farm shops and camp sites. These included Brexit and the risk of cheaper food imports, subsidy changes and the increase in staycations in the UK due to the pandemic.

Thrings has been an official Business Clinic partner since 2015. Duncan Sigournay, Russell Reeves, Natalie Ward and Ken Kaar are among those who have written articles for Farmers Weekly’s hugely successful Q&A feature which offers readers free guidance on legal, finance, tax, insurance, farm management and land issues.

For more information about the Farmers Weekly webinar, please email Jonathan Thompson on jthompson@thrings.com or call 01794 310321.

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