Lively debate at farmer seminars

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Local farmers, landowners and professionals have taken part in two “thought-provoking” seminars on the future of farming in the area.

The Savills food and farming team in the North hosted the seminars in Penrith and Hexham.

Duncan Winspear, head of food and farming for the North of England, opened the events by providing an update on agriculture, a brief outlook on the UK markets, and highlighting a number of grants currently available to farmers.

The events then welcomed two guest speakers.

Tom Richardson, an independent consultant, shared his experiences of buying on behalf of supermarkets and the changing expectations that customers have for their food. Then, Andrew Sims, of accountants Dodd and Co, gave an overview on the importance of succession planning in business.

Finally, Will Douglas and Andrew Black, of Savills, updated the audiences on the land market in the North and how this compares to the rest of the country.

Michael Orde, director at Savills and head of the Corbridge office, said: “It was particularly pleasing to see that the thought-provoking talks prompted some lively and interesting debate from the floor.

“With the next few years presenting many uncertainties for farming businesses, the fundamentals of good business management are more important than ever.”