Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Farm Supplier Business in the United Kingdom
The agriculture business will never cease to thrive year in year out because the demand for food in the world is rising. If you’re considering starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom, think of leveraging the latest technology to offer services. This would mean software and high-tech supplies to improve efficiency and productivity. Other farms partner with agri-tech companies that relate to their market to deliver value beyond simply selling the necessary supplies. If you want to learn more about the United Kingdom company registration, here’s a guide on starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom.
The agricultural industry in the UK is significant and unique. The distinct nature of the industry is that over 90% of farms are made up of sole traders or family partnerships. This industry is the backbone of the British largest manufacturing sector, food, and drink, which injects over a 120billion pounds into the economy. The farming industry provides 64% of the food consumed in the UK.
In the UK, the type of farming can broadly be categorized into three main areas:
- Arable farming–crop
- Livestock farming—raising animals
- Mixed farming—both arable and pastoral
With its contribution to the economy, today, we have over 149,000 farm businesses cutting across the nation. Therefore, if you’re planning on starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom, then you have a chance to capture the enormous demand. One of the primary challenges for farmers is the accessibility and maintenance of the right machinery and vehicle as it’s costly.
The Environment Land Management Scheme (ELM) introduction will contribute to the thriving rural economy and commitment to achieving net-zero emissions. The support by the UK government has transitioned the sector into cleaner and greener farming.
Business Registration Process
Having a successful farm supplier business will depend on whether you’re committed and understand the set regulations. As a beginner, you must never ignore the fact that this industry is broad, and you can also partner with well-established companies.
Here are some of the things you should put into consideration:
Research the Market
As you plan on starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom, you must do market research. Find out about the demography of the area you’re operating. Analyze potential trade customers like equestrian businesses and others. Again, it is advisable to assess the competition before starting. Some of your competitors might include:
- Manufacturers selling directly to the farmer
- Other farm suppliers
- Veterinary practitioners and pharmacists
- Online specialists suppliers selling directly to the farmers
Set Your Product Mix
As there is a range of products that can influence your business, having the right mix of the product will make you stand out. For example, you can decide to specialize in farm machinery or stock agrochemicals products. Besides, if you’re aiming to widen your market scope to include other land-based businesses, you must decide which way to go. Some of the product range may consist of:
- Seed treatments
- Feeding equipment
- Pet foods and pet accessories
Evaluate Your Sales
While you begin thinking about your market, you must also provide a more accurate evaluation of your sales level. You can take into account the following:
- Pricing: you can offer lower prices than your competitors to attract customers.
- Seasonality: relying on your product mix, the demand for your products may correspond with the growing and livestock rearing seasons
- Demand level: as a businessman, you’ll adjust according to the seasonal fluctuations and other common factors.
Register Your Business
A farm supplier business can legally operate once it is registered with the relevant authority. The company registration process starts with the identification of the type of structure to operate on. You can decide to be a sole trader, enter into a partnership or register a company. But before you register for United Kingdom company incorporation, your farm supplier business must have a name. Ensure that the name is unique and does not contravene the law of business naming. Once you have all your legal documents ready, you can register with the Companies House for a certificate of registration. Each business structure has its requirements which you must comply with to complete the process of registration.
Promote Your Farm Supplier Business
Getting your farm supplier business out there is a practical way of breaking into the market. You can begin by word of mouth within your area, which can attract more referrals. Besides that traditional method of marketing, you can join farming associations, attend farming events and shows. In return, you can share some of the services you provide with your potential customers. Moreover, you can develop flyers and business cards and spread them across the targeted areas. Creating a website can also be an added advantage where you can provide information about your business.
Get the Necessary Permits and License
While you think of starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom, you must understand the industry’s regulations. It would help if you inquired about which license or permits are necessary. This information is available with the local authority and the government website.
Develop a Business Plan
To sustain your farm supplier business for a long time, you must have your business plan ready. You must set your objectives straight to uncover roadblocks to profitability. Some of the things you should consider include initial investment, product demand, marketing strategies, and risk assessment.
Purchasing Existing Business
Another alternative is buying an existing farm supply business rather than starting one. The advantage of this is that you get goodwill right from the start. However, buying a business can be a costly process unless you have an experienced team and skills.
Starting a farm supplier business in the United Kingdom may mean that you hire employees. This will cater to the logistics issues and the running of the company. Ensure you have employees that have the skills and experience to handle crops or livestock.
Secure Insurance Policy
Having farm insurance to protect your farm supplier business entirely is vital. The insurance policy will provide essential security for the variety of components within your farm. The farm insurance may cover the following:
- Property cover: covers the damage of any properties from fire, vandalism, theft, and collapse of the building, among others.
- Environmental pollution: more often than not, farms use hazardous chemicals and pollutants that may be detrimental to the environment.
- Livestock cover
- Employer liability
- Public liability cover
- Product in Transit
Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
In a nutshell, the rules and regulations concerning farming can be complex. They range from disease identification and keeping of proper animal movement to farm hygiene. Ask your corporate service provider in the United Kingdom for more information.
Feed Hygiene for Farmers
Under Regulation (EC) No 183, the provisions aim to ensure that feed is produced, transported, and stored in hygienic conditions. You should keep the record to allow for full traceability of the feed. The local authority must approve or register the feed businesses. Remember, you must be registered if your business carries some of the following activities:
- Supplying of animals feeds
- Conducting on-farm mixing
- Feeding food-producing animals
- Growing crops for animal feeding
- Manufacturing animal feeds
- Storing animal feeds
The Welfare of Animals During Transport
If you’re a farm supplier and transport of animals is part of your business, the animal must be fit for the journey. Under Regulation (EC) No 1, the persons transporting the animals must ensure to have met all the necessary arrangements. This will include the personnel handling the animals, the vehicle carrier, and the animal’s condition, among others.
Contingency Planning for Livestock Diseases
The essence of contingency planning is to reduce the impact of a livestock disease outbreak. The Civil Contingencies Act underlines the role of local authorities in offering civil protection at the local level. The Animal Health Act focuses on preventing the spread of identifiable livestock diseases and limiting the impact of the disease on humans and the environment.
The Animal Welfare Act ensures that the keepers of animals take responsibility and their welfare needs are met.
Veterinary Medicine Book
As a keeper of animals or treat farm animals that will end up as food, you must maintain a record of the proof of purchase of all veterinary medicinal products.
When we talk about animal gatherings, we mean shows and collection centers of animals. According to law, it’s an offense to hold an animal gathering without a license. For more information, you can find out on the government website.
For more information about starting a farm supplier business, you can contact 3E Accounting.