SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, is playing a key role in a new hub allowing farmers to set up a connection to go into business with one another.
Officially launched at AgriScot, NFU Scotland’s Joint Venture Hub was described by NFUS President Andrew McCornick as “a form of dating agency”, adding “I would like to see this being a massive success”.
The Joint Venture Hub provides information on share farming, contract farming and tenancies, case studies and a map service where individuals can register to offer an opportunity or to advertise themselves when looking for an opportunity.
Andrew Lacey, Head of SAC Consulting, said: “We’re delighted to collaborate with the NFUS on this important venture. Our role will be to assist participants to assess if a joint venture form of farming is the correct path, and to help them arrive at their best long-term solution that suits both parties’ needs and aims.”
“An initial technical and business assessment will be used to test ideas. If viable, we will then help applicants to establish a mutually agreeable business case, for development into a legal document.”
SRUC will provide services at a discounted rate to both NFUS members and SAC Consulting subscribers.
Other partners in the Hub include Johnston Carmichael, Gillespie Macandrew, Brodies LLP, Shepherd and Wedderburn and Savills.
Andrew McCornick said: “This Hub 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 like they cannot get a foothold in agriculture thanks to the soaring price of land and a lack of land availability. At the same time, a huge number of farm owners are approaching retirement with no clear successor to run the operational side of their business, leaving them with the feeling they have no choice but to divide up and sell off the farm they have spent decades, even generations, building up.
“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 and will allow them to explore different opportunities to see farming businesses thrive.”
The Joint Venture Hub is accessible via the NFUS website.
Andrew Lacey, Head of SAC Consulting (third from right), standing next to NFUS President Andrew McCornick along with representatives from the other Joint Venture Hub partners