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No. 30             DIVERSIFICATION NEWS             SPRING/SUMMER 2009


What is driving Farm Diversification today? Money Government Legislation or Personal Need?

People running their own businesses today especially farmers have been forced to look in on themselves and to analyse every penny that is making their business work and to see if it is worth spending it.

Most farmers fall into the category of running a small business so could be included in the comments made below about the trouble within the Banking Industry. On the Today programme on Wednesday 1st July the BBC said that after all the decisions made and the controls imposed to stop bonus payments the industry was not going to change its spots and bonus's would still be paid.

In spite of the Tax Payer bailing out the banks (which should never have happened in the first place,) others have said that top people will only be kept in top jobs by paying them the right salary otherwise they will go abroad or do something else.

Financing bonus's out of taxpayer money is not only theft of the tax payer's (Our) money but the banks are testing the Government to see if they will react to the point despite what has been said in Standing Committee.

The answer to the test is that the government will not let the banks go to the wall. So, the bankers have called the Governments bluff. If the private individual is not bailed out when his affairs go wrong then why are the banks, the trains or anyone else, who has got on this government's band wagon?

Are the Conservative party going to turn out to be as bad as Labour on this point? Has no one learnt anything over this disaster?

People are now saying, and the Conservative Shadow Chancellor has intimated it, that the bankers should break themselves back down to smaller units where they can look after the people that they serve in a more personal manor.

We say that the "Bankers" should all come up with smaller banks with a hands on manager who has a new attitude and is prepared to create new policies on caring for their customers. They are there to serve us not the other way round.

We hear all the time from our clients about these problems. It is now high time business matters were turned on their head in that Banks could do much more to help small business at their expense and use some of their profits in this way. Here are some examples the right route they should go.

  1. The Business Manager of a local branch should have complete discretion at his Bank. No further up the line. He should be allowed to make his own lending decisions.

  2. The small company or person, who is the customer, should know exactly what the Bank thinks about their customer i.e. the customer knows from the start how he is viewed by the Bank as a customer.

  3. The Banks business Manager should be allowed to sit on the board of small companies, join meetings and be able to offer advice and assistance, like they do in France. In fact it should be compulsory to have some representation from the Bank especially if loans are involved.

  4. Banks should be able to offer some of its services to its customers like the use of its data base, Subject to the data protection act, back up secretarial assistance, sending out marketing letters, mass photocopying or brochure production with the name of the bank on the document as a sponsor.

  5. Advice on contacting other areas of the UK through another branch and in other parts of the world for setting up similar offices to the one the customer is running.

  6. To use its PR base for assisting Companies at Trade fairs and putting on lectures.

  7. They should come clean with the men behind the scenes, the grey men who cannot be named because they cannot tell you what they talk about in relation to our businesses. Those people should not be allowed to sell the banks debts to a factoring a company.

  8. They should assist with business plans and raising money for small companies through the government grants available.

  9. Persons with a financial record should be allowed to wipe that record clean.

  10. Overdrafts should always be available on a know what you are doing basis.

  11. There should be contact at least once a week to get involved in helping a small company.

  12. Every bank should carry a sign to the effect that they are crystal clean on their customers affairs. Paying money in and drawing it out should only be a small part of the banking procedure and should operate from small high street shops instead of grand buildings. These should be sold.

To the Farmers and those in the Countryside we say that if you have worries that you cannot contend with, try talking them out. They are so much better out than in and then someone else can help but probably at the moment not the Banks because they are too greedy lining their own pockets.


Our Council Tax system needs a complete overhaul. The fact that a farm house with 5 acres has to pay the equivalent in tax to buying one washing machine per month is a disgrace.

These taxes should be rated on the amenities available. Street lighting should be paid for by those in towns and many of the amenities available such as coastal works should not be funded from the Council Tax system at all.

Peoples "views" from their properties is a very personal thing therefore this cannot and should not be assessed as a rateable value, as each of us choose where we want to live some people like to be close to others and others prefer to be on their own.

Why should those who choose to live in the countryside pay higher taxes than those who live in the towns when they get far less for their money, therefore financing those in the towns?


Standing in the Pub recently a person said what has gone wrong and why with some of our younger generation who sit around on War Memorials? The reply was that as a generation, we as parents, had not paid enough attention to the overall needs of our young people.

The answer to taking young people seriously is to motivate them in their daily lives. The present Government has brought in over 500 new laws in the past 10 years related to in prison able offences to an extent that many of the senior Judges have left the profession because of being unable to cope.

The number of offenders who are in prison has doubled and we now have the highest crime rate in Europe and a large proportion of these are under 20. Theft of machinery and rustling especially in relation to sheep, ponies and dogs is on the increase.

To fill our prisons with people who offend should happen where there is a serious crime problem, however, the punishment should fit the crime and there should be more attention paid, by the authorities, to retraining persons outside prisons.

The town is the breeding ground of crime and do you wonder when you see youths all day long sitting around trying to fill the next hour. It is with great sadness that our school education is so devoid of ideas to motivate the young on a permanent basis. The teachers are mainly to blame because they consider sport or out of hours work is not their responsibility. The Head's of Schools should realise that when a boy/girl leaves school their contact should not end there.

Schools have great pulling power and can organise events for the young especially in the Countryside or on the Sea: There is a real need for the school mini bus to be organised more to take these children to places outside their environment and be motivated by what they see. Examples are to visit the Armed forces camps, RMFVR, RNR Sea scouts, and Scouts and Guides and other operations to spend time there and learn what there is available. School parties could be taken to Twickenham and Lords or the early days of Wimbledon.

Sadly many of our inner city schools have sold their games fields. Children need exercise and this should be catered for during a school day not looked at as an after school activity. Serious thought should be given to making the school day longer thereby making room for at least an hour's seasonal games in the afternoon. The children would then, in the main, go home physically tired.

If the young know we are serious, I am sure that they would respond, perhaps it is up to Landowners and Farmers to look at the situation and say to themselves "what can we provide as a venue"? But let us realise that this approach has to come from the Landowners and Farmers, NOT the other way round. So if you Landowners and Farmers out there have a spare barn a woodland area, a lake, water in let, a river or a canal to use, think how you can use it to your advantage, and make contact with your local school or the authorities All these facilities can be made use of thereby giving those termed "The War Memorial Children" something physical to do.

If Landowners and Farmers could offer some new facilities, to their advantage, they will free up the strain on the judiciary. It is all too easy to stand back and say the land is all taken up with animals or arable. Surely there is a time of year when you can let some of your facilities to the local schools and be at the fore of motivating our young and let them see another side to life instead of sitting rotting on a War Memorial. It is up to you.


When Mr Brown was Chancellor he gave away £25,000,000 to Brussels as a little encouragement to tell the Europeans that we were there ready to prime the European pump. That gold today is worth a figure near to 1 Billion in £'s. something that will not be repaid and something that has already been squandered from the Vaults of Brussels.

Gold is such a small word, but with such great strength in the Market. Runs on banks mean they are dangerous places to keep your money so gold comes to the fore. When there was a run on silver some year's back a farmer friend had as a door stop a large square block of silver just lying on the floor incidentally doing an extremely good job on the door. Those days are here again and will remain with us until we can trust the Banks and those we leave our money with.

If you find the pot of gold on your land you can of course keep it as treasure trove having come to terms with the Government however, keep the Map up the Chimney.

Think about assembling some money to buy that little block of gold, if you can carry it from the Bank of England, it could be an excellent door stop for the next few years. No one will believe it is gold! But it could be an excellent investment.


In a valley in Devon near to the A303 there are still over 25 milking herds some with over 100 cows. Those families have been doing this for years.. Some of these herds are small however they have not given up and so ensure that they continue until the brighter times come again.

In certain parts of the country milking herds have been decimated mainly because of the milk price. Water being more expensive than milk in the supermarkets however there are better times ahead for the faming community.

Mr Potter tells us there are four good news stories for dairy farmers including a £60 Million plant opening in Telford. This follows Bridgewater's successful launch, so there are now two opportunities to join in the direct sourcing of milk at two production units in the country. There is also a creamery opening on the Mull of Kintyre Peninsular.

It is forecast that profitability for good dairy farmers will be up and there is good reason to be optimistic about the future. Mr. Potter says that the market will turn between 2010 and 2011 so everyone have heart and stick to it. But make sure you are running a flexible business. With this in mind look at your production and consider what else you might be able to do in line with your present milk production or look for new markets for some of your milk.

We must realise that TB has not gone away and it is far more serious today than at any time in the past with it attacking prize established herds. This has to come to the fore in the nations news and stay there until it is sorted out because with the good things going on in the industry today there is no room for MP's and their petty adjustments to a policy which is totally flawed.


The news from India's borders in Pakistan and Afghanistan is not good with the uprising of the Taliban and more and more British soldiers being killed. However, the Pakistan and Indian people have no wish to follow the route of these barbaric tribesmen who the other day hung drew and quartered a Pakistan peasant for just being a Pakistani.

The United Kingdom people need to be more supportive and to gain more knowledge about these wonderful people who are deep friends of our Nation now and have been for many years.

The particular interest we have in Landowning Initiatives is through the formation of a British Indian Charity called "the Indian Equestrian Development Foundation" for exchange of students and teachers between the UK and India relating to the Equestrian world and the import /export of Horses. There has also been a new company formed called "The Indian Equestrian Development Ltd" which aims to create more sophisticated Equestrian centres in India in which shares can be purchased and to prepare India for equestrian excellence Into the next 20 years. Donations can also be given to the Charity.


Landowning Initiatives is looking for persons to run areas of their Farm Diversification Business. These include the Overseas Equestrian Company developing in India and the Agricultural Directory. Ring.01404 861284


Take up your free entry and register yourself and or your Company on the Agricultural Directory at or take an Enhanced entry at £50 plus VAT for three years. If you get one business lead in three years it is worth while!


Correct at the time of gong to press.

Landowning Initiatives accept no liability for errors or omissions.