15 September 2000

TAKING STOCK, TAKING ACTION

FOUR years ago, UK agriculture started to slide into recession. Few within the industry believed that the slump would hit so hard, or last for so long.

Market prices in some sectors remain at rock bottom. BSE-related export restrictions are still in place. The strong £ has caused major damage, making UK products more expensive abroad, and imports cheaper. Sterlings strength has also slashed support prices. The pressure continues, as fertiliser and fuel costs show.

But opinion is growing that the recession may have bottomed out. Prices in some areas are rising, and the long-term outlook in others offers hope. But it will take time, and a sustained recovery, before UK farming returns to making a worthwhile profit.

Farmers know they cannot afford to sit still and wait for better times. Many businesses need to restructure – to a greater or lesser extent – if they are to win through. This 2001 conference, organised by HSBC Bank, accountants Deloitte & Touche and farmers weekly, aims to help farmers bridge the gap.

Deloitte & Touche sets the ball rolling by taking stock – its annual incomes survey, based on accounts representing 100,000ha (247,000 acres), provides an unmissable insight into the industrys fortunes, giving farmers an excellent opportunity to compare their own business performance with benchmark figures.

HSBC speakers will then reveal how they see the fortunes of UK agriculture unfolding over the next 12 months, and how farmers can take action to tackle the tricky times ahead. Key areas that should be addressed will be highlighted, backed up by farm data, helping delegates to achieve accurate and effective business management.

We end on a practical note, with three speakers who, despite having high profiles in the industry, retain a down-to-earth outlook. All run, or until recently have run, successful farming businesses. They will explain how they have taken stock and taken action to help them overcome the challenges of farming in 2001 – and beyond. &#42

2001 ANDBEYOND:TAKINGSTOCKANDTAKING ACTION

I would like to attend the conference with …….. guests on:

o Tues, Oct 31 at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

o Weds, Nov 1 at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.

o Tues, Nov 7 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

Conference fees (per person, inc VAT): Farmers £15; non-farmers £30.

I enclose a cheque for the sum of £……….. made payable to Deloitte & Touche

Name(s)………………………………………………………………………………………..

Address………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Postcode…………………………. Tel……………………………………………………..

Please return to Alison Carlisle, Deloitte & Touche,

Queen Anne House, Queen Square, Bristol BS1 4JP.

CONFERENCEPROGRAMME

4pm Tea.

4.30pm Chairmans welcome Stephen Howe (Peterborough); Ken Jackson (Cirencester); Mark Hill (Harrogate).

4.35pm Taking Stock – Deloitte & ToucheMark Hill (Peterborough and Cirencester); Richard Crane (Harrogate).

5.10pm Forward Planning – HSBC Steve Ellwood (Peterborough and Cirencester); Allan Wilkinson (Harrogate).

5.45pm Taking Action – Farmer speakersTim Rymer (Peterborough); Mike Calvert (Cirencester);Barclay Forrest (Harrogate).

6.05pm Questions.

6.30pm Buffet supper.

2001 ANDBEYOND:TAKINGSTOCKANDTAKING ACTION

&#8226 Tues, Oct 31 East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambs.

&#8226 Wed, Nov 1 Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Glos.

&#8226 Tues, Nov 7 Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorks.

Look whos talking

&#8226 Mike Calvert Chief executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, a post he took up this summer. Before that, he was general manager of CWS Agriculture. During his 15 years at the helm, the business grew to more than 40,000ha (100,000 acres).

&#8226 Richard Crane Joined Deloitte & Touches agricultural group in 1986. Richard is a partner in the Cambridge office and runs the agricultural department for the east of England.

&#8226 Steve Ellwood Head of agriculture at HSBC Bank. Based in London, he is from a farming background in Cumbria. He is responsible for the banks agricultural and horticultural businesses throughout the UK.

&#8226 Barclay Forrest Farms in Berwickshire and is chairman of British Cereal Exports. He is also a member of the China Britain Business Council, representing agriculture and food. He was awarded the OBE for services to exports in 1999.

&#8226 Mark Hill Head of Deloitte & Touche agriculture.

He has been a partner since 1990 and is based in

Bristol, from where he covers the south and west

of England.

&#8226 Stephen Howe Editor of farmers weekly for nine years. He is a practising farmer growing arable crops in Surrey, and is a former governor of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research.

&#8226 Ken Jackson HSBC Banks regional agricultural manager responsible for business across southern England. He joined the bank in 1964, moving into the agricultural team 10 years ago.

&#8226 Tim Rymer Chairman of JSR Farming Group, which covers 6500ha (16,000 acres), owns 7000 sows and markets pig genetics through its wholly owned subsidiary, JSR Healthbred Limited.

&#8226 Allan Wilkinson HSBC Banks divisional agriculture

manager responsible for business across northern

England and Scotland. He has a family farming

background in North Yorks.