News
9th Jul

2013

Media Release 10 – The Future Of Farming: Are Landlords Part Of The Problem Or Willing To Be Part Of The Solution?

The Tenant Farmers Association has challenged rural landlords to consider whether they are part of the solution to the future of farming or part of the problem.

On the eve of the publication of the “Future of Farming” report it is clear that as a farming industry we need a consistent stream of new entrants both to be farmers in their own account and to be employed in both managerial and other positions.

The TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said “There is definitely a high demand from individuals looking to get into agriculture and this is a real turnaround from 10 or 15 years ago. However, a major barrier to entry is access to land”.

“It is a great shame that many private landlords take a short-term view when letting land. They seem to have one eye on taxation and another on potential payments through the Common Agricultural Policy rather than having both eyes fixed on a long term approach which provides a viable entry or progression opportunity to an entrepreneurial individual which will deliver enduring value to both parties,” said Mr Dunn.

“At a time when we need opportunities it is also disappointing that a number of county councils have decided to take a short-term view and have or are in the process of disposing of holdings in a ‘dash for cash’. This type of policy is not good for the agricultural industry and not good for local council taxpayers who will expect long-term, best value from the management of the assets entrusted to local authorities. There are however many better examples which should be followed,” said Mr Dunn.

“Even when land does come to the rental market there is too ready a tendency for existing owner occupiers to bid rental levels which are well in excess of what could be justified from the profit that can be made from farming the land blocking out opportunities for new entrants and those looking to progress,” said Mr Dunn.

“For too long we have allowed an unabated laissez-faire approach fuelled by generous taxation incentives to drive the market and land occupation decisions to the detriment of the common good. We need a long-term strategy which aims at producing lasting, viable opportunities for entry to and progression through the agricultural industry to meet the challenges which face us in the years which lie ahead including population growth, higher environmental demands and greater volatility in markets,” said Mr Dunn.

Ref: MR10  |  Date: 08 July 2013

Notes for Editors:

George Dunn will be available for interview on the TFA stand (646) at the Great Yorkshire Show on 09 and 10 and July. He can be contacted on 07721 998961.

For further information contact the TFA’s Communications and Events Coordinator Julie Sheehan on 0118 930 6130.

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