MMG is proud to support a diverse range of businesses, from football clubs, local cafes, gyms and just about everything in between. We have wide-ranging knowledge of distinct sectors and their intricacies, and one industry that is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind is agriculture.
Between acquiring land, succession planning, habitually checking the upcoming weather forecast, and of course keeping the animals in check, farmers have a range of unique needs. Like many other businesses, the agriculture sector has had to navigate both COVID-19 and Brexit but with some differentiating considerations.
As a large proportion of the country was plunged into lockdown and told to shut up shop, farmers were still up at the crack of dawn to feed the nation. To some extent, farmers were in a world of their own throughout much of lockdown – the pigs still needed to be fed, crops tended to, and cows milked. It wasn’t until the months started passing, and there was no sign of normality resuming that farmers saw the impact of COVID-19.
With bars closed and beer left untouched and restaurants not churning out chips like before, there is less of a need for barley to be malted and potatoes to be picked. The knock-on effect from other sectors has left farmers losing out on valuable income. MMG has been on hand to support the agriculture industry throughout the pandemic, offering advice and guidance about using bounce-back loans to mitigate expenses.
While the pandemic hasn’t had a significant influence on the farming industry, Brexit is creating a cloud of uncertainty and concern. The future of the subsidies that farmers heavily rely on is now unclear. With no obvious roadmap or indication of what will happen to the basic payment scheme (BPS) which is one of the European Union’s biggest rural grants, many farmers have been left in the lurch. There is speculation that future support will predominantly be focussed on green initiatives rather than land allocation. As and when information materialises, the team at MMG will be there to help guide its agriculture clients through any changes.
There’s still uncertainty around the lasting effects of COVID-19 and Brexit on the farming industry. It might feel like a waiting game for now, but we can and will navigate and see through any upcoming changes to legislation together.
If you work within agriculture and have a specific question relating to your business and any of the topics we’ve covered in this blog, please get in touch, and a member of our team will be happy to help.