Union promises help for Scottish joint venture farmers

NFU Scotland has created an online business hub to help farmers set up joint ventures and collaborate with each other more closely.

The NFUS Joint Venture Hub will provide information on share farming, contract farming and tenancies, with a key aim of linking up next-generation farmers and businesses without succession plans in place.

The hub will be launched at a seminar during the AgriScot Show in Edinburgh on 21 November and will be available on the NFU Scotland website.

See also: Share farming: How it works and why it could reshape farming

It will also include case studies and a map service where individuals can register to offer a venture or to advertise themselves when looking for an opportunity to collaborate.

The union has been working with partners to create the hub, including Johnston Carmichael, Gillespie Macandrew, Brodies LLP, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Savills and SAC Consulting.

NFU Scotland members will be eligible for discounted fees on consultancy with the partner firms.

Help for current and future generations

Union president Andrew McCornick said: “The initiative is recognition of the need for a service to aid options for use of land, not only for the next generation but also for those looking to step back from day-to-day duties on the farm.

“There is a generation of enthusiastic and talented young people who feel they cannot get a foothold in agriculture due to the soaring price of land and a lack of land availability.”

Mr McCornick added that at the same time, a huge number of farm owners were approaching retirement with no clear successor to run the operational side of their business.

This has often left them with no choice but to divide up and sell off the farm they have spent decades, even generations, building up, he said.

“NFU Scotland believes the options available within the Joint Venture Hub allows individuals to identify what will work for them, and with the specialist help of consultants, accountants and lawyers, this process is made easier.”

What services are available outside Scotland?