23 November 2001

Organic deals nearing completion

AGENTS involved in the sale of the two largest organic farms brought to the market this year are looking to close deals over the next few weeks.

The 989-acre Hanford Estate near Blandford, Dorset, has received substantial interest and a number of offers, says FPDSavills managing director, Rupert Montefiore.

Valued at £4.6m, the holding boasts a 300-head Dairy Shorthorn herd, a substantial and unusual art deco house, and additional income generated from conservation schemes.

For the first time in Mr Montefiores experience, interest in the organic nature of the farm has been considerable. "There is a very good chance it will remain organic.

"Commercially it makes sense and people now regard organic production as here to stay. There are some serious commercial farmers who are now embracing it at least on part of their businesses," he said.

Blaenhiraeth runs 250 Dairy Shorthorn off 630 acres near Llanelli, producing a milk cheque of almost £30,000 a month.

A guide price of £2m did not, however, build in a premium for its organic status and selling agent Woolley & Wallis feels vindicated in this decision.

There has been good interest from a range of buyers, according to the firm, which is looking to finalise a sale "reasonably soon". The farm has a fine farmhouse with views over the Gower Peninsula and nine other dwellings. &#42