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Turning challenges into opportunities

7 Apr 2022 | Business and Employers

Virgin Money in association with Active Business Partnerships, Bishop Burton College, and Carbon Metrics, is holding a free seminar to discuss and debate the challenges of meeting Net Zero and how farming enterprises can benefit from embracing change.

As the agricultural sector tackles new subsidy regimes and the carbon-neutral agenda, farming is going to be very different in the future. Coupled with rising fuel, fertiliser, and energy costs and the war in Ukraine, fully understanding the implications and the options for your business will be a vital key to success.

When facing any challenge it is always helpful to get together with others in the same situation and share experiences and knowledge. The topics for discussion will include “How and Why Sustainability Should be a Key Part of Your Farm Business Strategy”, “The Benefits of Carbon Accounting and What You Can do to Prepare Your Farming Business for the Future of ELMS”, with “An Insight into how Commercial Banks are Supporting the Transition to Sustainable Farming”. All subjects designed to help farmers successfully plan for the new green future.

Free to attend with a pie and pea supper the “Turning Challenges into Opportunities” seminar will be held on Tuesday 26th April at Bishop Burton College.

Bill Meredith, Chief Executive and Principal of Bishop Burton College said

“As a land-based college with our own 360-hectare commercial farm, Bishop Burton is acutely aware of the challenges facing the agricultural industry.

"The sector is at a turning point, with a necessity to operate more efficiently whilst also addressing the critical challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We pride ourselves on leading by example and have set ourselves an ambitious target to make our farm carbon net zero by 2030. We champion green education as part of the Institute of Technology, preparing the current and next generation of farmers and agricultural workers with the technical skills needed to improve financial and environmental sustainability. We’re delighted to host this seminar, to share best practices and to further our understanding of this hugely important agenda.”

Amongst the speakers will be Brian Richardson, Head of Agriculture at Virgin Money, Simon Haley, Director of Carbon Metrics, Alex Olivant, Farm Business Consultant with Active Business Partnerships and Helen Mellors, Partner and Head of Agriculture and Landed Estates at Andrew Jackson LLP. There will also be a panel Q & A chaired by Bill Meredith.

“Farmers are still reeling from the effects of Brexit, the pandemic, and now with the change in emphasis with regards to government subsidies, we at Virgin Money are doing all we can to ensure that the agriculture sector adapts and thrives in this new environment,” commented Brian Richardson. 

“The Net Zero Agenda may seem like a distraction from these many problems, but global warming still needs to be addressed and it’s important to understand the consequences for the sector. We have found that those farmers who embrace change early really benefit, both from an environmental, and financial point of view, and we have an expert team on hand to assist them in identifying opportunities.”

Alex Olivant, who will be discussing what farmers can do to prepare for the Future of ELMS, concurs with Brian. “As Farm Business Consultants, we at Active BP are seeing more and more unrest throughout the farming community. We continue to see a rise in input costs, alongside a reduction in subsidy, combining to make farming in 2022 more challenging than we’ve experienced for generations. With the Environmental Land Management Scheme on the horizon, we are working with our clients to navigate input highs, subsidy lows and new policy as it comes around the corner!”

This seminar will give attendees the chance to get some expert advice and to chat and network. It will start at 6.30pm with presentations at 7.00pm. After the panel Q & A there will be a Pie and Pea Supper. Free to attend, all you need to do is book your place by contacting or by calling 01539 637685.

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