There could be an adverse positive effect for young upcoming farmers following Brexit, according to Anthony Gibson.
The former NFU regional director believes a reduction in the value of land could help new entrants to the farming industry.
“Whatever happens, the majority of farmers will adapt eventually, but it will be made quite tough”, explains Anthony.
“Smaller farmers – providing they are debt free and don’t have a mortgage – may be able to survive the next few years just by tightening their belts.”
“Medium-sized farms will probably be most at risk if they have a lot of outgoings which they can’t economise upon.”
“Younger farmers may benefit as land becomes available more readily and cheaply, and it’ll become easier for them to enter the industry.”
Several small farms in the south-west currently receive subsidies from the European Union, grants which are guaranteed up to at least 2020.
“We may see an increase in production of niche products, but there is a limit to how much can be done.”
“For example, some farms may seek to specialise in new organic ranges as they can’t compete on price alone.”
“But niche products are only usually purchased when the economy is strong, and when consumers have disposable income.”
Written by Rob Jennings.
Photograph by Caitlin Pharoah.