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Farming and Rural Business Conference

Technical and practical sessions to help finance professionals to stay up to date and provide clients with the expert level of service they need.

Watch on demand


Sessions will cover a range of practical and technical issues to keep you at the top of your field, enabling you to provide your clients with solutions to the challenges in this ever-changing sector.

Hear from experts on how farmers will specifically be affected by the latest tax and VAT changes


Get the latest on trends in the farmland market, looking at farm rents and what is driving prices


Get the views of agricultural bankers, economists and working farmers

2023 Programme

Wednesday 27 September

Chairman’s welcome and introduction
David Missen, SME, ICAEW Farming & Rural Business Community
Sustainability and ESG – Profit with purpose?
In this session, Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Partner, MHA, sets the frame of reference for how ESG can and must be integrated financially profitably. He will also outline his views on the regulatory landscape and the future for SME business in this space.
Business, environment, climate – the new policy framework for agriculture
Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser, CAAV joins us to talk about basic payment ending this year in England. Wales is to start replacing it in 2025. New schemes, targets and markets focus on environment and carbon. It is time to look at this new world clearly.
A life spent trying to be useful, and accidentally making money along the way
Hear the story of Guy Singh-Watson, Founder, Riverford organic and the values that guided Guy as he went about setting up his business, stemming from the desire to generate value somewhere for someone. Get Guy’s personal perspective on good business and good decision making, and how to embrace the emotional as well as the rational.
VAT update
Neil Owen, Founder & Managing Director, VAT Advisory Services will cover a number of topics where changes have taken place or new perspectives may be valuable, including; aspects of the new penalty regime, installation of energy-saving materials, employee accommodation, grants/subsidies and expenditure on farmhouses.
Tax update
Chris Thorpe, Tax Adviser will look at recent cases concerning Business Property Relief, capital allowances, and an outline of BADR.
Keynote address - Daniel Zeichner MP, Labour Party
Closing comments
David Missen, SME, ICAEW Farming & Rural Business Community

Thursday 28 September

Chairman’s welcome and introduction
Keith Phillips, Chair, ICAEW Farming & Rural Business Community
Agricultural economy
Richard King, Partner & Head of Business Research, The Andersons Centre will provide an overview of current farm profitability and future prospects for the sector, given market and policy changes.
Rural property markets and the future of farming
Andrew Shirley, Head of Rural Research, Knight Frank joins us to cover trends in the farmland market with further insight into what is driving prices, the impact on farm rents, the disconnect between where we are now and where government thought we would be post subsidy reform. He will also look at the findings of KF’s latest wealth report and on residential rent reforms and how that might affect the farming sector.
Oxbury Bank and the future of farm finance
Oxbury Bank is the only UK bank dedicated to British agriculture. Matt Ryan, Oxbury’s’ Head of Farmer Relationships discusses the role of Oxbury bank within the sector and offers insight into the shape of future farm finance.
University placements and sustainable development
Alastair Boot, Principle Lecturer and Placement Coordinator, Harper Adams will explain the approach to developing employability of students at Harper Adams University. We know that sustainability is about the environment but also a much wider agenda. By committing to compulsory year-long undergraduate placements and by embedding employability into the curriculum, Harper Adams aims that its graduates will be equipped with the skills of life-long learning that will enable them to manage their careers successfully and to sustain their personal development.
Natural capital calculation, valuation and carbon fungibility
Trinity AgTech Managing Director, Anna Woodley, will discuss the topic of natural capital valuation and how creating a whole-business natural capital account is vital for the future of farming businesses. She will look at the challenges surrounding carbon fungibility and the impact on demand, liquidity, uptake, and value.
Keynote address – Making space for nature
Jake Fiennes, Director, Holkham Estate - With the many demands on our land, how do we protect and preserve our natural capital while producing food and ensuring that our farmers are fairly rewarded for their efforts.
Closing comments
Keith Phillips, Chair, ICAEW Farming & Rural Business Community

Our speakers

Meet the expert speakers supporting this event.

Alastair Boot
Alastair Boot Principle Lecturer and Placement Coordinator, Harper Adams

Alastair leads Harper Adams University's placement programme as well as lecturing in Food Retail and Marketing. His industry experience includes running his family’s dairy farm in Shropshire and 15 years in retail operations including with Waitrose. Alastair’s professional purpose is to help undergraduates launch successful careers in food and agri-business.

Jake Fiennes
Jake Fiennes Director, Holkham National Nature Reserve & General Manager Conservation Holkham Estate

Jake has over 30 years' experience in land management on private landed estates and is currently Director of Holkham National Nature Reserve. Holkham Estate covers 25,000ac and is one of a handful of private landowners with approved body status to manage a National Nature Reserve.

Richard King
Richard King Partner & Head of Business Research, The Andersons Centre

Richard joined Andersons' Research team in Melton Mowbray in 1998. The team analyses and interprets agricultural policy and market developments, and provides specialist business research, training, briefings, and publishes information. He became editor of the Agricultural Budgeting and Costing Book in 2000 and joined the Andersons Centre Partnership in 2003.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor Partner, MHA

Mark specialises in the rural business, agriculture, horticulture, food manufacture, education and healthcare industries as well as supporting organisations from a wide range of sectors to develop and deliver impactful sustainability and ESG strategies.

David Missen
David Missen Consultant, Larking Gowen

David is a former partner in, and consultant to Larking Gowen. Based in East Anglia, specialising in agriculture and associated private client work, David has an in-depth understanding of the issues affecting businesses and individuals in the farming industry. 

Jeremy Moody
Jeremy Moody Secretary and Adviser, CAAV

Jeremy Moody has been Secretary and Adviser to the CAAV since 1995.He handles the many issues covered by the CAAV across the UK including agricultural tenancy, land occupation issues, taxation, valuation and telecommunications, liaising with government and writing widely on both policy and practice.

Neil Owen
Neil Owen Founder & Managing Director, VAT Advisory Services

Neil is an independent consultant and speaker who has 39 years’ experience of working in VAT. He is a Fellow of the CIOT and uniquely also of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants, the latter reflecting his wide and long-standing involvement in advising the rural sector.

Keith Phillips
Keith Phillips Chair, ICAEW Farming & Rural Business Community

Keith qualified in 1987 with ICAEW and is director of Duncan & Toplis, a firm that's centred in Lincolnshire but has 11 accountancy offices with over 400 staff covering most of the East Midlands. Keith is lead director of an office of around 26 staff, and a general practitioner looking after mainly family-run businesses with a bias of around 60% towards agricultural or ancillary industry businesses.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan Head of Farmer Relationships, Oxbury Bank

In Feb 2020 Matt joined Oxbury Bank Plc as Head of Farmer Relationships and assisted the business in gaining its banking license through to its successful launch in Feb 2021, and since then put together a national sales force and has lead the farmer facing team to major lending and revenue milestones. In addition to his banking career Matt also ran his own successful farming business.

Andrew Shirley
Andrew Shirley Head of Rural Research, Knight Frank

Andrew is editor of The Wealth Report, Knight Frank’s global thought-leadership publication for its UHNWI clients and their advisors. He is also Head of Rural Research providing insight into farmland and agricultural trends. In addition, he created and compiles the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, which tracks the value of 10 asset classes including classic cars, art and wine.

Guy Singh-Watson
Guy Singh-Watson Founder, Riverford organic

Guy Singh-Watson has over the last 35 years taken Riverford from one man and a wheelbarrow delivering homegrown organic veg to friends, to a national veg box scheme delivering to around 70,000 customers a week. Guy is an advocate of using business to shape a part of the world, however small, to be kinder, more considerate and sustainable.

Chris Thorpe
Chris Thorpe Tax Adviser

Chris is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and a non-practising barrister. After qualifying at Grant Thornton, he worked in several firms in practice as well as lecturing for Mercia. He is a technical officer at the CIOT and freelance lecturer and tax consultant.

Anna Woodley
Anna Woodley Managing Director - Business Development, Trinity Agtech

Anna has held senior roles at industry leading organisations including Agrimetrics and Proagrica. She has a degree in commercial horticulture and studied business innovation with the University of Oxford.

Daniel Zeichner
Daniel Zeichner MP, Labour Party

Daniel Zeichner is the Labour MP for Cambridge, and has been an MP continuously since 7 May 2015. He currently undertakes the role of Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

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