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Farming Connect campaign helps farm businesses 

navigate their way through succession planning

by guest author Elin Jones

In an ideal world, the older generation would discuss their plans for the future of the farm business openly with other members of the family. They would “start the conversation� long before the time when such a discussion becomes essential.Unfortunately, that is often not the case which has very serious implications for both families and farms in Wales, according to Einir Davies, mentoring and development manager with Menter a Busnes, which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government.

“The greatest threat to many farm businesses in Wales is lack of a robust succession plan, which is why Farming Connect launched a new succession campaign at the recent Women in Agriculture forum in Bangor on Dee and are committed to making it the topic of conversation around farm kitchen tables this year,� said Einir.

The new campaign, “Start the conversation, it’s good to talk,� comprises a suite of Farming Connect succession planning support services and guidance tools which will help families navigate their way through what are often challenging and unwelcome discussions.

“Businesses which do not plan ahead risk serious consequences for both family and farm, ranging from the falling out of family members and the loss of homes and livelihoods, to adverse financial consequences and the impact to all if the family farm has to be sold, carved up or divided.

“Succession planning will address when and how best to pass on the assets to the next generation which includes preparing them for what lies ahead and passing on responsibility too,� said Einir.

The starting point for those wanting to know when and from whom they should seek advice is to obtain a copy of Farming Connect’s succession planning booklet. This straightforward A4 booklet sets out what support and guidance is available to help families prepare for those all-important discussions which need to take place. It also contains a ‘succession planning toolkit’, providing templates which enable families to discuss and record the facts, opinions and goals of each family member, saving them valuable time ahead of instructing their own professional experts. Collect a copy from your local development officer or from any agricultural show where Farming Connect has a presence.

The new campaign will signpost farming families towards a team of newly appointed ‘succession’ mentors who have joined Farming Connect’s successful fully-funded mentoring programme. Eligible farmers can now apply for up to 22.5 hours of one-to-one confidential and impartial guidance on ‘succession planning’ from a mentor who has relevant experience or knowledge. Browse the online mentor directory, which also includes mentors on a wide range of business and technical topics, including ‘niche’ diversification enterprises and farm safety experts. A filter system will help you identify the mentor with the skills and knowledge you require before applying for the service.

Farming Connect also arranges succession surgeries when eligible farmers can book a fully-funded one-to-one meeting with a specialist rural solicitor. For information on the next round of dates and locations and to book a place, contact your local Farming Connect development officer.

“You will receive a synopsis of your meeting which you can then discuss with your own professional adviser,� said Einir who added that if any families need further assistance with strategic business planning, they can access 80% funding through Farming Connect’s Advisory Service.

Farming Connect is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.


Ymgyrch Cyswllt Ffermio yn helpu busnesau
drwy’r broses o gynllunio olyniaeth

Mewn byd delfrydol, byddai’r genhedlaeth hŷn yn trafod eu cynlluniau ar gyfer dyfodol y busnes fferm yn agored gydag aelodau eraill y teulu. Byddent yn “dechrau’r sgwrs� ymhell cyn i drafodaeth o’r fath fod yn angenrheidiol.Yn anffodus, nid yw hyn yn digwydd bob amser, ac mae hynny’n arwain at oblygiadau difrifol i deuluoedd a ffermydd yng Nghymru, yn ôl Einir Davies, rheolwr mentora a datblygu gyda Menter a Busnes, sy’n darparu Cyswllt Ffermio ar ran Llywodraeth Cymru.

“Y bygythiad mwyaf i nifer o fusnesau fferm yng Nghymru yw diffyg cynllun olyniaeth gadarn, a dyna pam mae Cyswllt Ffermio wedi lansio ymgyrch olyniaeth newydd yn ystod fforwm Merched mewn Amaeth yn ddiweddar ym Mangor Is-Coed ac wedi ymrwymo i sicrhau ei fod yn bwnc trafod o amgylch bwrdd y gegin eleni,� meddai Einir.

Mae’r ymgyrch newydd, “Dechreuwch y Sgwrs, mae’n werth ei chael� yn cynnwys cyfres o wasanaethau cefnogi a chanllawiau ar gyfer cynllunio olyniaeth a fydd yn cynorthwyo teuluoedd i ganfod ffordd o gynnal trafodaethau sy’n aml yn heriol ac yn anodd.

“Mae busnesau nad ydynt yn cynllunio ymlaen llaw mewn perygl o wynebu goblygiadau difrifol iawn ar gyfer y teulu a’r fferm gan amrywio o anghydfod teuluol a cholli cartrefi a bywoliaeth i sefyllfeydd ariannol anffafriol a’r effaith ar bawb pe byddai angen gwerthu, chwalu neu rannu’r fferm deuluol.

“Bydd cynllunio olyniaeth yn mynd i’r afael â sut a phryd y dylid trosglwyddo asedau i’r genhedlaeth nesaf, gan gynnwys eu paratoi ar gyfer y dyfodol a throsglwyddo cyfrifoldeb hefyd,� meddai Einir.

Cam cyntaf ar gyfer y rhai sydd eisiau gwybod pryd y dylent ofyn am gyngor a chan bwy yw derbyn copi o lyfryn cynllunio olyniaeth Cyswllt Ffermio. Mae’r llyfryn A4 hwn yn hawdd i’w ddefnyddio, ac mae’n amlinellu’r gefnogaeth a’r arweiniad sydd ar gael i helpu teuluoedd baratoi ar gyfer y trafodaethau pwysig sydd angen eu cynnal. Mae hefyd yn cynnwys ‘pecyn adnoddau cynllunio olyniaeth’ sy’n darparu templedi sy’n galluogi ffermwyr i drafod a chofnodi’r ffeithiau, barn a nodau pob aelod o’r teulu, gan arbed amser gwerthfawr cyn cysylltu â’u harbenigwyr proffesiynol eu hunain. Gallwch gael copi gan eich swyddog datblygu lleol neu o unrhyw sioe amaethyddol ble bydd Cyswllt Ffermio yn bresennol.

Bydd yr ymgyrch newydd yn cyfeirio teuluoedd fferm at dîm o fentoriaid ‘olyniaeth’ sydd newydd eu penodi i ymuno â rhaglen fentora lwyddiannus Cyswllt Ffermio sydd wedi’i hariannu’n llawn. Gall ffermwyr cymwys ymgeisio am hyd at 22.5 awr o gyngor annibynnol, diduedd a chyfrinachol wedi’i ariannu’n llawn gan fentor sydd â phrofiad perthnasol neu ddealltwriaeth o gynllunio olyniaeth. Ewch i www.llyw.cymru/cyswlltffermio i edrych ar y cyfeirlyfr mentora ar lein, sydd hefyd yn cynnwys mentoriaid gyda phrofiad mewn nifer o feysydd busnes a thechnegol, gan gynnwys mentrau arallgyfeirio arbenigol, ynghyd ag arbenigwyr diogelwch fferm. Bydd system hidlo yn eich cynorthwyo i ganfod y mentro gyda’r sgiliau a’r wybodaeth sydd arnoch ei angen cyn ymgeisio ar gyfer y gwasanaeth.

Mae Cyswllt Ffermio hefyd yn trefnu cymorthfeydd olyniaeth ble gall ffermwyr cymwys drefnu cyfarfod un i un wedi’i ariannu’n llawn gyda chyfreithiwr amaethyddol arbenigol. Am fanylion y rownd nesaf o ddyddiadau a lleoliadau ac i archebu lle, cysylltwch â’ch swyddog datblygu Cyswllt Ffermio lleol.

Byddwch yn derbyn crynodeb o’ch cyfarfod, ac yna gallwch drafod gyda’ch cynghorydd proffesiynol eich hun,� meddai Einir, ac ychwanegodd y gall unrhyw deuluoedd sydd angen cefnogaeth bellach gyda chynllunio busnes strategol, gallant dderbyn cyllid o hyd at 80% trwy Wasanaeth Cynghori Cyswllt Ffermio.

Ariennir Cyswllt Ffermio gan Lywodraeth Cymru a Chronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig.