A thriving tenanted land sector is absolutely central to growing successful, flexible and profitable farm businesses, said the NFU.
Speaking at the largest ever NFU Tenants’ Conference in Harrogate yesterday, NFU President Peter Kendall called for all parties involved in tenant farming to think long-term based on sustainable business models.
“We’ve seen the rental market spiralling upwards over the past few years,” he said.
“While I firmly believe in market forces, I am also calling on landlords and tenants to think hard about the long-term sustainability of these agreements. With CAP reform about to be implemented, we need a functioning rental market that creates profitable outcomes for all parties.
“It is right this should be a competitive industry and it is also right that agents get a good deal for their clients – but the rapid growth in rent levels is making it increasingly difficult for tenants to cover their costs, or even access new land.
“Government’s ambition to increase food production means all farm businesses should be investing in the productivity of their farms, and we need the tenanted sector to be able to plan investments for the longer term.
“I’d also like landlords to think about longer leases. The average Farm Business Tenancy agreement period of four years offers little incentive for tenant initiative or investment.
“When the tenant can invest and grow their business, as the NFU Tenants’ Conference will show, it’s the landlord and the tenant that profits – surely the win-win that we all want to see?”