Matching new entrants and retiring farmers through farm joint ventures: Insights from the Fresh Start Initiative in Cornwall, UK

Ingram, Julie ORCID: 0000-0003-0712-4789 and Kirwan, James ORCID: 0000-0002-4626-9940 (2011) Matching new entrants and retiring farmers through farm joint ventures: Insights from the Fresh Start Initiative in Cornwall, UK. Land Use Policy, 28 (4). pp. 917-927. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.04.001

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Concerns about the sustainability of an ageing farming population have brought interest in so called entry-exit issues in policy circles. Policy interventions to date have offered limited scope in stimulating farm transfer in UK, however, the increase in unconventional tenures which include partnerships, share farming and contract farming (collectively called joint ventures) would appear to offer new opportunities for those wishing to enter or leave farming. In recognition of this the Fresh Start initiative in Cornwall set up a matchmaking element with the aim of identifying and facilitating potential joint ventures agreements between new entrants and older farmers. The emphasis was on setting up long-term arrangements that would enable the new entrant to 'buy into' an existing farm business, gradually taking over managerial control. This paper examines the processes of matching partners for the possible formation of farm joint ventures, using qualitative data derived from interviews with the participants, deliverers and stakeholders involved in the matchmaking element of this initiative. The results reveal that there is a deep rooted reluctance amongst participants in the initiative to enter formal long term joint ventures due to differing motivations, expectations, and concerns about their respective responsibilities in the working relationship and about the validity of the legal framework. Only where a relationship had already been informally established was there a commitment to formalise a joint venture agreement. Future emphasis in policy should therefore be on helping to facilitate and formalise existing partnerships, rather than trying to artificially orchestrate matches where the parties do not know each other.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. Farmer new entrants, Farmers, Farm joint ventures, Farm succession, Farmer retirement, Family farms
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Debi Jones-Davis
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 09:53
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 18:00

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