9 Jan 2019

Helping a forward-thinking client move to the cutting edge of agri-tech.

Often regarded as a conservative industry, farming faces radical change in the light of environmental pressures, increasing climate change, water scarcity and the new Agriculture Bill. To survive, farming businesses must adapt and innovate.

Our client runs a long-established family business originating in Lincolnshire, which has always embraced innovation. Specialising in producing leaf salad crops, they wanted to improve efficiency, overcome the ‘boom then bust’ impact of variable weather and be prepared for increasingly tougher legislation. To do this, they committed to a major investment in cutting edge hydroponics technology at a large site in Essex.

Hydroponics is farming without soil. Crops are grown in water, in closed environments that protect against weather extremes and allow precise applications of nutrients without the risk of them leaching into the earth.

Complex deals and deadlines

We began working for our client several years ago, when they were instructing a number of solicitors. Recognising our successful approach and understanding of technology, they have since moved all their business over to Taylor Vinters.

By combining the strengths of our teams, we provided the mix of technical awareness, real estate expertise and corporate finance experience that our client needed. Setting up their new hydroponic farm required new leases to be negotiated, agreements for bringing water and electricity on site, corporate guarantees and bank approvals, and the not inconsiderable challenge of arranging finance for the entire project. All of this had to be achieved in a very tight timescale.

Making great things happen

We ensured that our client secured the seven-figure investment they needed, despite the complexities of the transaction. They will now grow salad leaf crops in precisely controlled conditions at their new hydroponics farm, with much improved efficiency.

Our client will benefit from seven to eight yields per annum, compared to one or perhaps two using conventional techniques. Quality will be higher too, with longer shelf life and consequently less wastage all the way through to the retailer. In addition, water consumption will be vastly reduced and environmental targets are satisfied.

Get in touch

Farming has to become smarter and more environmentally responsible, minimising the use of scarce resources. That demands new technology, and the legal, real estate and commercial expertise to make it possible. To realise the benefits of agri-tech innovation for your farming business, please get in touch with Andrew Williamson or Rupert Melville-Ross.