24 September 2020 - Page 53

MAY 31 2018
Contract farming agreements help
maximise flexibility for landowners
ONTRACT Farm Agreements
widely used in a variety of
arable, mixed and livestock
This kind of arrangement is well
established in Great Britain and Best
Property Services’ land team has
noted its growth in Northern Ireland
in recent years.
What is it? A Contract Farm
Agreement is an arms-length
agreement in which a landowner
(the farmer) engages the services
of another party (the contractor) on
agreed terms and pays him to carry
out the work and manage the day-today running of the farm. Typically
Contract Farm Agreements are set
up for three to five year periods.
This approach has made inroads
into Northern Ireland in recent years
Jonathan Bell
Surveyor, Best
Propery Services
and can offer significant benefits to
both the landowner and contactor.
The agreement provides the
landowner with an alternative to an
in-hand farm or leasing the land to
a tenant.
In its essence it’s an agreement for
the provision of services governed
by a commercial contract between
The agreement provides the landowner
with an improved work/life balance,
reducing the workload however
remaining involved with the decision
making of the farm.
the farmer and the contractor. A
properly constructed Contract Farm
Agreement can avoid the creation of
a tenancy and maintains the ‘farmer’
status for subsidy and tax purposes.
In many cases it is usual for the
farmer to provide the land and
buildings as well as fixed equipment.
The farmer in an arable Contract
Farm Agreement will fund inputs
such as seeds, fertiliser and sprays
whilst in a livestock agreement the
farmer should provide any fixed
equipment used by the livestock,
also the funding needed to buy all
inputs for the unit, such as fertiliser,
concentrates, vet and medicines.
It is also their responsibility to
provide the finance in order to
provide cash flow to the agreement
along with short and long term farm
policy objectives.
For his part, the contractor
provides labour, machinery and
machinery costs and management
and will usually receive payment on
a quarterly basis.
From a contractor’s point of view
this kind of agreement increases
economies of scale with their costs
spread across a larger area and
offers the opportunity to grow their
For the farmer or landowner this
kind of agreement offers flexibility
and tax benefits without the
pressure of managing the holding on
a day-to-day basis. It can be a great
solution for retiring farmers and
investment buyers, ensuring they
remain actively involved within the
The agreement provides the
landowner with an improved work/
life balance, reducing the workload
however remaining involved with the
decision making of the farm. It can
generate a reasonably stable income
and avoid much of the reoccurring
capital and maintenance cost of
machinery. It may also avoid the
need to directly employ staff, having
reduced day-to-day involvement
compared with an in-hand farm.
As well as being user friendly
and relatively easy to operate,
Contract Farm Agreements should
be inexpensive to administer and
provide flexibility to both parties to
agree terms.
Both parties agree farming policy
and the share of any divisible
surplus in advance and meet
regularly throughout the duration of
the agreement to make management
decisions and monitor progress.
Contract Farm Agreements provide
good opportunities for young people
to get a foothold in the industry as
the working capital requirement is
less than it would be if they owned
a farm.
straightforward and in many
cases the contractor may already
be known to the farmer.
Property Services has the skills and
experience to support landowners
and contractors who have identified
an opportunity to enter into a
Contract Farm Agreement.
Jonathan Bell, AssocRICS,
has been a surveyor with
Best Property Services since
2014 and holds a degree in
Rural Property Management
from Harper Adams
University. He also farms
in a family partnership and
his experience brings many
benefits to his role within the
land team at Best Property
comes to Belfast
ALL SET: CIM Ireland Network Manager Carol Magill with Aisling
Graham and Briege Finnegan from Moy Park, which is sponsoring
the Not For Profit Campaigning category, and Eileen Curry, Interim
Chair of CIM Ireland.
SUPPORT: Nick Read, Ulster University,
which is sponsoring the Agri-Food Marketing
category, with the Chief Executive of CIM, Chris
Daly, and Eileen Curry, Interim Chair of CIM
Marketing awards come of age at Titanic
HE hunt for Ireland’s best
marketers has begun. The
Chartered Institute of Marketing
(CIM) Ireland Awards have come
of age this year and as part of the
celebrations, the number of awards
has been increased to 18.
The event kicked off with the
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Ireland announcing three new award
categories, including Best New
Product or Service Launch and Cause
Related Marketing, offering an even
wider spectrum of opportunity for
businesses to showcase the great
work of their marketing teams.
The awards will be held at the
Titanic Belfast on November 9, with
entries closing on September 28.
The awards were launched by
keynote speaker New York-based
PepsiCo executive Ciara Dilley,
now works as Senior Director of
Transformational Innovation (Global
Ms Dilley gave an inspirational
address, telling marketers at the
launch event at the Harland and Wolff
Drawing Offices in the Titanic Hotel:
“As marketers, it’s essential to see
the broader world and to not become
constrained by your own perspective
within the business.
“Breaking out of that is important
because it enables you to look at the
world with open eyes so that you can
clearly see how much opportunity is
out there.”
This year’s awards have a new
principal sponsor, The Marketing
Trust, an independent charitable
and development of people and
organisations in all aspects of
Chris Daly, Chief Executive of CIM,
said: “CIM is independent, trusted and
connected. The CIM Ireland Awards
recognise and celebrate the insight,
creativity and impact of marketers
throughout Ireland are having on the
“We are delighted that the Marketing
Trust, which has provided invaluable
support for the industry, has joined
forces with us in Ireland for the first
time to highlight the importance of
marketing in today’s increasingly
competitive business environment.”
Other sponsors include Associate
Sponsor PML Group and category
sponsors Baker McKenzie, Moy Park,
Ulster University, Mintel, the Titanic
Hotel and the Titanic Belfast.
To launch the awards, Peter Craven,
CIM Education Ambassador and
owner of BlueSky Video Marketing,
engaged with students to create a
compelling video, using only mobile
phone cameras.
Discussing the awards, Eileen
Curry, Interim Chair of CIM Ireland,
said: “One of the principles of the
awards is to share best practice. In
the coming months, volunteers will
be sharing best practice and insights
via social and online media platforms.
In this way we will share and promote
knowledge and learning across the
The awards are open to any
organisation, individual or team
working in Northern Ireland or the
Republic of Ireland, regardless of size,
sector or industry.
As the awards last took place in
2016, campaign entries can be for
any activity between September
30, 2016, and September 28, 2018.
To find out more or to enter, please
visit www.cim.co.uk/events/irelandawards-2018/
RETAIL and wholesale giant
Musgrave has opened its
first Belfast Chipmongers,
the successful chip shop
franchise, on the University
Road, creating nine jobs and
investing £130k.
The owner, Martin McKeown,
54, originally from the
Ormeau Road, Belfast, is
delighted to be part of a
successful brand.
He explained: “I have a
background in printing and
brand development so when I
saw the Chipmongers colour
palate and memorable logo
I was struck by how well it
looked and I was intrigued to
find out more.
“However, it was when I
saw the menu and tasted the
food that my mind was made
up as the quality of the food,
provided by Musgrave, is
Martin, who had been
searching for a business
to invest in, met with the
Chipmongers team and quickly
realised the potential of the
“In previous businesses, I
had become tired of waiting
for invoices to be settled and
the resulting cash flow issues
it caused,” explained Martin.
“I wanted to remove that
uncertainty altogether in my
next venture which is why
Chipmongers was appealing to
me as people are paying at the
time of purchase.”
Currently, there is a
Chipmongers in Lisburn and
a new store has just opened in
Ballymena, with plans to open
more in Northern Ireland,
and Martin is excited about
the potential: “I’m delighted
to help play a role in reenergising an area of Belfast
which was always popular
with students.
“The potential of the passing
trade and proximity to Queen’s
University, City Hospital, and
many other businesses, is a
major plus for the location.
“As well as this, there are
a few big developments
planned for the area,
including a bar across
the street, so I feel it’s
the right business, in
the right location at
the right time.”
on University
Press eye


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