It feels very much like a game of two halves within agriculture and our client base currently, with many sectors having had a reasonable last 12 months due to decent livestock prices and commodity prices. However, we should not underestimate the severe difficulties the pig industry especially is having. I look after many clients in the sector, and the losses suffered are hard and sad to see.
However, we are now into the second half of the game, with frightening rises in the two major inputs used in the farming sector being fertiliser and fuel, and we should not underestimate the major impact this has on all costs we all incur in business.
Whilst the above are massive challenges, if the correct thought processes and actions are taken, we remain confident that farmers and Agricultural businesses will be able to steer a path through.
On that note, there are three main topics amongst many, we are discussing with our clients to support them through this time of volatility:
I believe we have an extremely challenging period ahead, but we must remain optimistic, as we produce a staple required for people's very existence i.e., food. There are already some encouraging signs that people's perceived value and what the retailers are prepared to pay for this are increasing, but it is only the start, and this needs to massively continue to cover the ever-rising costs.
We should not forget the environmental and sustainability issues, and I have worked with a number of clients recently who have gone down this route, not to change their way of farming, but to make it more sustainable, and many of you would be surprised that if you look after your soils and environment how much input cost can be saved, and farming in a normal manner can continue.
I'm sure there will be many more curveballs over the coming weeks and months, but I remain very optimistic for the agricultural sector continuing to adapt and produce quality products for the UK market, and when you see the atrocities in Ukraine, we really aren't in a bad place at all compared with that.