The four new Farming & Rural Business Community advisory group members introduce themselves.
Ben is a partner with Midlands based firm Ballards LLP. He is a both a qualified chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor and heads up the firm’s business services offering. He has a particularly hands on approach and likes to build strong relationships with clients to understand both their personal and business goals.
Following completion of his degree at Edinburgh University, Ben joined Whitley Stimson in High Wycombe where he worked with a range of owner managed businesses and corporates. Ben’s experience spans a number of sectors but he has specialist interests within retail, manufacturing and agribusiness. He also works closely with clients on personal matters including inheritance tax planning and trusts.
Daniel Crutchfield is a Tax Manager at the national firm Smith & Williamson LLP, with a specialism in Landed Estates and their business interests, including farming, leisure businesses and property portfolios. With over 8 years’ experience, Daniel is a member of both the ICAEW and the CIOT. Daniel works with clients advising on various matters including assisting CGT and Income tax strategies to provide tax efficiencies.
Jack started in practice in 2007, qualifying with the ICAEW in 2012 and the CIOT in 2016. Born and bred in Suffolk, he works with farming and rural businesses across the East of England, supporting, guiding and advising rural business owners. Jack has a passion for the countryside and is a regular attendee of his local agricultural shows and agricultural industry events.
I have nearly two decades of experience working with rural businesses and I am passionate about the role of farming and agriculture in stimulating a more sustainable UK plc and its contributions to society's health and environmental welfare. Through my client work and my advocacy group, Rural Policy Group, I strive to make sustainable accounting the norm across food and farming businesses to support business, regulatory and ethical goals. This work was recognised by the Finance For the Future awards in 2020 when Rural Policy Group (independent think tank supporting the rural agenda - not the day job!) was a runner-up in the Jeffery Unnerman Driving Change Category. I am also a Partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson leading Sustainability Services & Food manufacturing (linked to Rural).
In addition, my responsibilities within RPG have brought me into dialogue with politicians at the highest level to give voice to rural business and engage with policy decision-making around national trade, food and environmental ambitions as they relate to the farming industry and the wider UK food system. These relationships will enable me to strengthen this Community's relationship with the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament and further the dialogue between the two institutions.
In addition to helping food and farm businesses adopt more sustainable practices, I have special interests in food manufacturing and diversification into land use for energy and environmental services.
What we are hoping to gain
I hope to gain insights into all the different geographical and product areas of this disparate industry, exchange best practice with my peers, keep my knowledge up to date and enjoy robust discussions around how we advise our clients on the issues of the day. We also want to add value to the ICAEW Members and lobby for effective and transparent policies to support our industry.*The views expressed are the author's and not ICAEW's.