AHDB’s latest Horizon report, Brexit scenarios: an impact assessment,
for the first time quantifies the potential impact of Brexit on UK farming
It maps out a range of possible
post-Brexit situations and models their effect on Farm Business Income (FBI)
across agriculture and horticulture’s levy-paying sectors.
while results differ on a sector-by-sector basis, the top 25 per cent of
businesses, regardless of sector, remained profitable under every scenario.
says farmers have the chance now to learn from that high-performing group and
to use them as a benchmark for what is achievable in the way they run their own
Phil Bicknell, AHDB Market
Intelligence Director, said: “This analysis underlines the fact that
performance matters. As individual farms, we know that we can’t determine
policy but we can recognise that performance is key to preparing for the
Launched at AHDB’s Grain
Market Outlook Conference this week, the analysis projects the effect of
different trading arrangements, farm support measures and labour availability.
They range from a ‘business as
usual’ approach with current levels of support; a liberal approach to trade
with tariff-free access to the UK and reduced support; to a cliff-edge Brexit,
reverting to WTO regulations and with dramatically reduced support payments.
The model allows AHDB to re-run
the scenarios in future as more detail of policy decisions in those key areas
emerge, to form a more accurate picture for the industry. AHDB will also
later publish specific results for Scotland using Farm Business Survey
Under the three scenarios
outlined in the report, changes in the UK’s trade relationships will impact
farmers’ bottom line when the UK leaves the Single Market, whether or not a
Free Trade Agreement is negotiated with the EU.
Policy decisions also leave
sectors where direct support has been a key part of farm revenues such as beef,
lamb and cereals, particularly vulnerable.
Mr Bicknell added: “Buzzwords
like competitiveness, resilience, productivity are not new to agriculture but
Brexit brings renewed focus on farm performance. Do nothing and businesses that
are currently profitable run the risk of heading into the red. There is plenty
that individual businesses can do now to get fit for the future.”
AHDB will present the analysis
and explore what actions farmers can take in advance of Brexit to better
prepare for change at AHDB/NFU Brexit roadshow events around the country.
Running from 18 October to 2
November at 18 locations, the events will also see the NFU present its latest
thinking on the development of a domestic agriculture policy aimed at helping
farmers to mitigate volatility, enhance productivity and to deliver
environmental benefits. NFU members can reserve their place by contacting their
NFU Regional Office.
All AHDB’s analysis on the
implications of Brexit for UK agriculture and horticulture can be downloaded at