RBS and NatWest have long been supporters of the agricultural industry, and we continue to work with businesses to navigate the various peaks and troughs they face in the sector.

Most recently we have been supporting dairy farmers facing a challenging time due to a fall in milk prices.

The price of milk has fallen dramatically over the last year; with the average milk price dropping 15%. Favourable conditions in many parts of the world have led to an increase in milk supply at a time when demand has eased, particularly from major buyers like China and Russia which imposed a trade embargo last August.

Despite the current challenges, the longer term prospects of dairy still look good as demand looks set to increase in the future.

Another key issue for farming businesses is succession, and ensuring a strong future for the agricultural industry.

We want to make sure that we are supporting the industry in creating a sustainable legacy – rather than just offering the standard banking services and products.

As part of this, we are proud of our long standing partnership with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

We have supported the NFYFC for a number of years now, and have this year revamped our partnership to deliver business specific training to members across the country.

The training is delivered by managers from across our dedicated Agriculture Team and covers basic skills in business management from making a business plan, cash management and tenancy training.

The aim is to arm young farmers with the skills they need to set up, run and maintain successful agricultural businesses which make such a huge contribution to the UK – and global – economy.

New business start up training is also included – helping members to understand the importance of business planning, with specific emphasis on creating a business plan fit for purpose.

As part of our partnership, we will also be on hand at the NFYFC Annual Convention this weekend.

Managers from our Agriculture Team will be handing out ‘survival packs’ to attendees and I will be speaking to members about some of the main issues facing the industry.

My key message to young farmers – and most businesses – is to always keep close to the bank and keep them informed should you be faced with any difficulty.

Young farmers will be able to discuss the key issues impacting the sector at Torquay’s Riviera International Centre from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April, as well as taking part in the federation’s Annual General Meeting.

For more information visit the NFYFC Convention website.

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