Eurinco takes small groups of farmers to Brussels from time to time to discuss key proposals with Commission officials and MEPs (we recently took clients to meet key Commission officials on alternative approaches to ‘greening pillar 1’ and on the role of energy crops within the proposed EFAs).
We work closely with NFU and CLA, who we would usually suggest as the first port of call for farmers and landowners needing to address potential problems or to promote particular business opportunities in relation to legislation.
However, we also help agri-businesses and professional firms to secure a better understanding of the proposals (and the thinking behind them) through meetings with key officials; and we can address specific issues impacting your business or that of your clients which may not be high priorities for industry-wide bodies.
In some cases, responding to future policy changes may mean restructuring the business to safeguard future payments or to maintain operational freedom.
Structural changes to the business should only be considered when they do not damage operational efficiency. It would rarely be benficial, in our experience, to split the business into separate units (for instance to avoid the impact of capping) and there are in any case anti-avoidance provisions in the legislation.
Have you considered, what level of labour costs can be set against your future payments?
However, other changes can often be made without damaging, maybe even to enhance, operational effectiveness. Have you considered, for instance, what level of labour costs can be set against your future payments?
Small adjustments to the business structure and to contract farming and other arrangements can sometimes help to avert undue losses to future payments which might result, for instance, from the definition of ‘active farmer’. Have you considered the relationship between your farm payments and non-agricultural income to the same business, or the implcations if different parties now claim SPS and agri environment payments on the same land?
If business change or restrucuring is to be considered, it is important that this is undertaken in good time and for sound business reasons.