With restrictions on movement having eased I have had the opportunity to visit two businesses that SLMS helped through the process of setting up a joint venture.
At the end of August, I had the opportunity to visit a small farm in Renfrewshire where I helped set up a joint venture agreement between the established farmer and someone who was looking for the opportunity to develop his small sheep enterprise.
I had first met with both parties in July 2020 and from there drew up a simple joint venture agreement for their consideration. That progressed and they have been up and running for around a year when I went back this year. It was interesting to hear their reflections on that first year and it was really clear that through effective and constant communication they have established a strong and trusting working relationship. I wish them well for the future.
Last Friday Allan and I supported Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon on a visit to Rottal Estate in the Angus Glens near Kirriemuir courtesy of owner Dee Ward. SLMS assisted Dee in setting up a joint venture with Adrien Drocourt to develop an organic market garden at Rottal. The joint venture has been running since May and the quality and variety of vegetables being grown at 800ft up the Angus Glens is a real credit to the skills and enthusiasm that Adrien has brought to the table. That compliments well with Dee providing land and infrastructure as well as marketing and commercial know how. Cab Sec, Allan and I certainly enjoyed tasting some of the more unusual vegetables!
In between these visits Allan and I met up with Douglas Bell in his new role as managing Director of the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA). Really useful discussion on how to find opportunities for those looking to move forward from short term seasonal lets into something with a little more security that would allow better planning for development of their business. Joint ventures can play a part in delivering these opportunities. More broadly we agreed that if the opportunity arose for me to speak to further STFA meetings then I would be happy to do so to get the SLMS message of different ways of doing things out to a wider audience.