Yorkshire agriculture ‘remains resilient’

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Yorkshire agriculture ‘remains resilient’
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Maria Jeffs

Yorkshire’s agricultural industry has again posted one of the lowest levels of businesses in the sector at higher than normal risk of insolvency this month, according to R3.

In April, just 287 of the 1,743 active agricultural businesses in Yorkshire were considered to be at higher than normal risk of insolvency. This equates to 16.5% of the region’s businesses in the sector, well below the national average of 18.8%.

In fact, Yorkshire put in one of the strongest performance of the 12 regions surveyed, with only the East Midlands (14.8%) and the East of England (15.2%) having lower levels of agricultural businesses in the overall negative band.

While overall, the region saw a month on month rise of 3.3% in levels of businesses across all sectors considered to be at higher than normal risk, Yorkshire performed strongly compared with the rest of the UK, with 25% of all the region’s businesses in the risk band, slightly below the national average of 25.3%.

In fact, the region had a lower percentage of at-risk businesses in manufacturing, hotels, technology and IT, construction and professional services than the UK-wide levels.  Only transport/haulage and tourist operators in the region were markedly above the national average for their respective sectors.

“Having weathered the last recession better than many other industries, agriculture remains a key sector in Yorkshire with many farms passing down through generations of families, as well as it being the cornerstone of our food and drinks industry  While farming in the region appears to be resilient, as the UK embarks on Brexit negotiations there are very real concerns about its future amid issues around the withdrawal of EU subsidies and support, currency fluctuations and the availability of seasonal workers,” said Adrian Berry, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and restructuring partner at Deloitte.

He added: “In what is traditionally an extremely tough business, these uncertainties raise more questions about the sustainability and competitiveness of UK agriculture going forward.  As ever, if you are in financial difficulty, we urge you to seek professional advice at the first signs of trouble when a greater number of options will be open to you.”

R3 uses research compiled from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database of company information to track the number of businesses in key regional  sectors that have a heightened risk of entering insolvency in the next year.