Farmers in north Northumberland encouraged to build resilience to best cope with external challenges
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James Heaton, Virgin Money’s Scottish Borders agricultural business manager, has been involved in farming in various capacities since 1984.
There has been plenty of change since then – with recent issues including the impact of the war in Ukraine, recent increases in the bank base rate and the increasing focus on Net Zero.
James said: “Technology is moving rapidly, as it always does when an industry faces challenges, but there will still need to be major changes in how land is farmed in the UK.
“There may also be new opportunities to develop alternative income streams either through grant schemes or the sale of carbon credits and for some businesses, this may well become their main focus moving forward.”
To provide guidance, he has mentioned various best practices that he has seen from successful business leaders in his experience.
He said: “They include focusing on what they can control and avoid wasting time and energy worrying about what they cannot, keeping flexible and adapting quickly to changing situations, and getting succession planning right and ensuring the next generation are involved in decision making and business strategy as soon as possible.
“In addition, they are investing to improve efficiencies and drive lower costs of production, and know their finances inside out with budgeting, forecasting and ensuring their accounts are prepared in good time.”