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Business Funding – Risks and Rewards
Essex jam and English hops Insurance for charities and their trustees GDPR – what you need to know Autumn in the garden
ATTRACTIVE BUSINESS SEEKS LIKEMINDED......... 4 NAVIGATING THE FUNDING JUNGLE ..................... 6 DANGERS IN DATA................................................... 8 MAKING TAX DIGITAL – IT HASN’T GONE AWAY. . 10 HOP ‘TIL YOU DROP.............................................. 12 PLEASE GIVE RESPONSIBLY................................. 14 SEE YOU A-ROUND. .............................................. 17 JAM TODAY…GIN TOMORROW............................ 18 HARVEST PRICES AND BREXIT............................. 20 RISK AND REWARD IN THE GARDEN. .................. 22 ST HELENA HOSPICE............................................ 24 INHERITANCE TAX – GETTING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD.................... 25 INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE RISING – THIS IS WHY .......................................................... 26 SUPPORTING SUCCESS. ...................................... 28 PIRACY ON THE HIGH SEAS. ................................ 30 FROM FARM TO CUP............................................. 32 SHOOTING FOR THE STARS. ................................ 34 MAKING YOUR PENSION LAST............................. 36 COMPETITION UPDATE.......................................... 38 NEW ANGLE PRIZE................................................ 39 INSURANCE FOR CHARITIES. ............................... 40
Scrutton Bland is a leading provider of accountancy, tax, audit, insurance, employee benefits and independent financial planning advice to both business and private clients. Our philosophy is to offer clear, professional advice and to find the most effective solution to meet the individual needs of each client. We are committed to delivering great client service and constantly strive to exceed the expectations of our clients by providing a proactive and supportive service. If you would like professional advice on any of your business or personal finances please contact one of our experienced advisers who will be delighted to hear from you. 820 The Crescent Colchester Business Park Colchester
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O ne of the biggest changes for SMEs in the past ten years has been the issue of business funding. The credit crunch impacted the traditional banks and their operating models, and it all happened alongside an unprecedented technological revolution. This revolution has in many respects “democratised” how businesses are funded. Quite literally in the case of “Peer-to-Peer” platforms, where we can all now very easily act as quasi-banks from the comfort of our homes, should we have the desire and the funds. However, for all the change and despite the fancy names and individual quirks, it still pretty much comes down to debt or equity. The pros of debt: control is retained by the owner. All the lender really cares about is getting their interest and, eventually, capital back. The cons of debt: interest is a drag on profits each year and, at some point, capital has to be repaid. Even, in extremis, if that means being forced in to administration. Ouch.
Finally, it’s still essential to consult and take advice. There are an interesting number of options for alternative sources of finance. New entrants are arriving and the boundaries between them blurring. At the same time, there is now evidence that the banks are recognising the need to compete, meaning that they too are changing their approach. Reviewing how your business is capitalised is a fundamental part of the business plan. It’s something to look at least annually and we can assist you with this process. For advice on obtaining investment or finding projects and opportunities to invest in, Scrutton Bland Corporate Finance team has the experience and access to networks to help. Contact Luke Morris on luke.morris@ scruttonbland.co.uk tel 01206 838466 .
The fundamentals are still there: Angels are about speed, the chemistry and fit of the individual and the expertise they can bring to bear, and the fact that they will be around for the long term – they are putting their own money in. Friendly, or at least understanding, capital. We are seeing a number of fresh initiatives in this area, including the growing local network of Angels locally, New Anglia Capital (see page 6), being worth a look. In conclusion Whilst there have been a number of changes in the state of business funding for SMEs in recent years, some fundamentals remain. Ultimately it is still about debt and equity, getting the ratio right and matching it correctly to your operations. And you still need to read the small print carefully. It’s still an art to balance the factors when looking to obtain: terms, availability, speed and costs. And it’s still demanding of personal communication skills, even if via an online platform.
Of course, it’s not all plain sailing, and you do need to watch the costs. But nonetheless we are seeing clients increasingly consider this when re-financing, which we did not see two or three years ago. Business Angel Investment It is estimated that there are 18,000 Business Angels in the UK. Business Angels are individuals, putting their own money (but also, their time) into an early–stage venture in exchange for a piece of the pie. “Nothing new there” I hear you say. And you would be right. What is new, however, is how the Angels are behaving. Technology, again, has had a huge effect in the last decade. Angels are increasingly working together, in syndicates, as it’s easier for them to communicate and network online. This means they are prepared to look further afield, and in acting together they will consider larger investments, or investments outside of their usual comfort zone. Equity investment at a level beyond what would be thought of as the usual Business Angel “start-up” space.
The pros of equity: share capital, conversely never has to be repaid. And dividends on shares are discretionary – they can be shelved during the hard times. The cons of equity: there’s a price to pay – as anyone who has seen Dragons’ Den knows, the pressure to deliver from demanding shareholders and the returns they expect may be significant. And keep in mind the fact that if you issue shares and dilute your holding, the company is no longer all yours. All pretty basic stuff for the seasoned business leader. But having decided on debt or equity, what other choices are there these days when we drill down further? Quite a few, as it happens, and I want to pick just one example from each category that seems to be garnering momentum at the moment: Peer-to-Peer Lending (debt) and Business Angel investment (equity).
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Even the most optimistic high street bank manager will admit there has been a change in the “relationship banking” model in the past decade, one implication being that the banks are no longer the only players when it comes to providing debt finance. And businesses have noted the traditional banks becoming more conservative again when it comes to lending criteria. Online platforms to raise debt have exploited this niche, with their lower fixed cost base and the reach and speed of online technology allowing them to match borrowers and lenders, providing a direct alternative to a traditional bank loan. It seems P2P is more than a flash in the pan. Gross lending in 2015 via these platforms was up 75% on the year before and that trend looks to be continuing. I think it’s definitely here to stay – there are a number of flexible products available now and in many cases it can be quicker and easier.
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10 Get the right support Finding a business angel is probably best done through an organised network or syndicate. The British Business Angel Association has a list of networks that adhere to industry standards and this would be a good place to start. If you are an ambitious early stage company in Norfolk or Suffolk, you can approach us at Anglia Capital Group. We were established in 2014 and to date have invested over £1.6 million in local businesses. We hold frequent pitching events across the region and welcome enquiries from entrepreneurs and potential investors. Sally Goodsell is a business angel, mentor and coach and has been helping companies grow and succeed for over 30 years. She is a frequent media commentator on financial issues and works as a consultant with Anglia Capital Group. Contact her at Sally@ angliacapitalgroup.co.uk
8 Be prepared Once you have found an investor, they will want to check out the business and will undertake a due diligence review (This is where most deals fall down). It can seem tedious and you may end up answering the same questions many times over. Be well prepared. Make sure your company documentation is up to date (Share register etc) or get some professional help to sort it out. Be patient and provide information when asked and promptly. Don’t try to hide anything! 9 Keep it real Valuation of your business is probably the most emotive issue for any entrepreneur and investor. You will always have different views on this and it just needs to be worked through and negotiated. A business angel is unlikely to be interested in investing if the stake on offer is too small and the valuation unrealistic, but as an entrepreneur, you will need to retain sufficient equity for future funding requirements.
6 Understand your numbers. It is your business and you have to justify any data that you share with potential investors. If crunching numbers is not your forte, get some professional help in putting your forecasts together - but make sure you understand the underlying assumptions and can answer any questions cogently and accurately. If you don’t know the answer, be honest and don’t try to fluff your way through it. You will be found out! 7 Smart money is always worth more than passive investment. Business angels are active investors and want to see you succeed. They can be an invaluable source of support, advice and experience and often know a lot of useful people. Most entrepreneurs say that they underestimate the value of this before investment, but it is the thing they value most in the post investment period. You are effectively partners in the business - so it is worthwhile understanding the implications of this. Be open to advice, prepare to be challenged - but with the right investors on board, it will be worth the ride.
4 Approach the right type of investor For example venture capitalists are often not the best route to fund start-ups or early stage businesses, unless the entrepreneur has an exceptional previous record of growing and successfully exiting a business. Typical investment by a venture capitalist is at least £1 million and more typically £5 million - beyond the needs of most start-ups. Business angels are far more likely to invest in a start-up or early stage business and will typically invest amounts from £50,000 up to £1 million (as part of a syndicate). In fact business angels are the largest source of finance for this market, investing over £1 billion a year. 5 Think differently Crowd funding for equity investment is also increasing in popularity and many early stage companies successfully raise funds through this route. Just a couple of warnings. Crowd funders do not bring any additional skills or expertise into your business (unlike business angels). It is also important to consider the funders motivation, for example crowd funders can be passive investors who want the tax breaks that go with investing and a decent financial return. Many crowd funding companies expect you to do the leg work and find the investors yourself. This can work well if you are a business with an existing customer base that may want to back you, but I have seen many campaigns fail to get any traction and this can be a big time waster. Remember you will only succeed if you are able to raise all of your funding requirement. Set a minimum amount that can work for the business and set a stretch target if your pitch proves popular.
3 Network, network, network Getting a personal introduction to an investor can make all the difference. Social media can be a great tool, but avoid ‘stalking’ business angels or sending unsolicited business plans. Learn to pitch your business in under 30 seconds (often known as the “elevator” pitch) and get the word out there by talking to as many people as possible in your network. You never know who might be able to help. Test your plan and your pitch on somebody unrelated to the business. The chances are if they understand it, an investor will too... If an investor doesn’t believe in what you are doing, they will move on to more attractive prospects. Don’t use jargon and industry acronyms - show that you are customer focused, that you understand the dynamics of your market and most importantly, how you will make money running the business?
1 Understand the aim and scope of your business. The industry or sector in which you are looking to start your business can often impact the type of funding which will best suit your aim. If you are looking to start a lifestyle business for example the chances are that you can fund it yourself or with a little bit of help via a loan from a bank or a reputable debt crowd funding platform. Success in obtaining finance will depend on proof that you can generate some cash in a reasonably short time frame and therefore are able to repay the debt when required. 2 Prepare your business plan carefully.. .. but don’t agonise over it. Well-executed, clearly written plans (I would suggest no more than four pages) are more likely to attract an investor than sixty pages of dense text. Investors receive a lot of business plans and get bored easily! A good business plan will grab the investor’s interest on the first page. Investors by their nature will often be attracted to opportunities where they can get excited and share the passion of the venture.
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Adviser spoke to Jon Bloor , Corporate Commercial Partner at Ellisons Solicitors, to discuss the upcoming General Data Protection Regulations and how they will effect businesses of all shapes and sizes.
In practice this may be a difficult decision to make, and I suspect that organisations may choose to err on the side of safety and notify the ICO rather than running the risk of being accused of having failed to notify them at a later date. However, for breaches which don’t meet this threshold there is no automatic requirement to notify. If someone thinks they may be affected by GDPR where can they find further information? The best starting point is the ICO’s website (https://ico.org.uk/), which has a great selection of resources on the GDPR, including a “myth busting” blog addressing some of the misapprehensions which have grown up about the GDPR. To find out more about the legal services available to you and for more information on getting prepared for GDPR you can contact how Jon Bloor at Ellisons solicitors on 01473 556900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s also worth noting that you have to provide a straightforward method for withdrawal of consent. In some cases this may require changes to websites, customer contracts and business processes. So, does that mean that businesses will need to get specific consent to process any personal data? No, there are a number of other ways in which data can be lawfully processed under the GDPR and some of these may be considerably easier than relying on consent. For example, processing will be lawful if it is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject. This would cover the processing of personal data by an online retailer to fulfil orders placed by a customer. However, you still need to bear in mind the other requirements of the GDPR, in particular that the data processed should be limited to what is necessary for the relevant purpose and not retained for longer than is necessary. So if an online purchase was being made, the retailer would need to make sure that unnecessary data was not collected (for example, date of birth where this wasn’t relevant to the transaction) and that their policies on how long the data should be retained for were carefully considered and documented.
Where a business is only a “data processor” presumably they won’t have to worry too much? Unfortunately this is not the case. The distinction between the data controller (who has the main responsibility and liability for the processing of personal data) and the data processor who simply processes the data according to their instructions will still be relevant. However, data processors are subject to specific obligations under the GDPR (for example, to process data in accordance with the instructions of the data controller and restrictions on sub-contracting). If a data breach arises because the processor fails to comply with these obligations of the GDPR then it may be directly liable for financial penalties. Many businesses have these “processor / controller” contracts in place and it is likely that these will need to be reviewed before the GDPR comes into force. What happens if a business breaches the GDPR? Do they have to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)? From a GDPR perspective you will only be required to notify the ICO of a breach where it is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals (for example loss of confidentiality). Where there is a “high risk” you may also be required to notify the individuals concerned directly.
Does that mean that all business will have to go through their databases and get fresh consent for all marketing communications? Unfortunately in some cases the answer to this could be “yes”. Where you rely on consent of the data subject for processing of their data the GDPR requirement is that must be a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous and based on some clear affirmative action (i.e. an opt-in). In particular, consent can’t be granted by silence, pre-filled boxes or inactivity or in a general set of terms of conditions accepted by the user. You will need to be able to provide evidence of how and when consent was obtained. The GDPR doesn’t automatically require businesses to obtain fresh consents, but if you can’t produce evidence that the individuals on your mailing list have given consent which meets the above requirements then you may need to obtain fresh consents in order to continue processing their data for marketing purposes.
What happens if businesses in the UK don’t comply with GDPR? Will they be faced with fines? The headline position, which has been heavily reported, is that the most serious breaches of the GDPR could give rise to a fine of either up to 40% of your annual turnover or up to €20,000,000, whichever is higher. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the largest fine issued by the Information Commissioner under the existing legislation is already £350,000, so the consequences for businesses of not taking their data protection obligations seriously can already be severe. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) have already stated that they will take a “proportionate” approach to enforcement under the GDPR, and it’s unlikely that a business which was making genuine efforts to comply with its GDPR obligations would be hit with fines of this scale.
What is GDPR and when will it happen? The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018, which leaves only a few months for businesses to prepare. Larger corporations and public authorities are already taking GDPR seriously; at the time of writing there were well over 1,000 advertised roles across the UK for new Data Protection Officers. For owner-managed businesses and SMEs the picture is rather different. Most clients we talk to are aware that the new regulations are coming in next year, but have not necessarily taken all of the necessary steps to prepare.
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T he proposed plans to introduce online tax reporting from 2018 (for large businesses) and 2019 (for small businesses) may have been temporarily postponed by the government as a result of the snap election, but it has been just that: postponed and not abandoned. Graham Doubtfire, Tax Partner at Scrutton Bland answers some of the questions clients are asking about what this means or businesses in the region. For anyone who doesn’t know, what is Making Tax Digital (MTD)? HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) have announced that they intend to “bring businesses into the digital age” by requiring them to submit Tax Returns electronically rather than having the option to use a paper-based option, or via the HMRC portal on their website. All businesses and individuals will be issued with a personalized digital tax account and will have to maintain digital records and repost to HMRC using MTD compatible software. So when is this going to happen and what has changed? Originally scheduled to start next year, the start dates for MTD have been pushed back and the key focus is now on businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, which is currently £85,000. Plans are now that these businesses will have to keep digital records for VAT from April 2019, and report on a quarterly basis. The other change will be in the way that businesses will report their data to HMRC. Up until now many clients have used the HMRC website portal to key in their data, however this will not be available after April 2019 and they will be obliged to use software which has the functionality to seamlessly transfer the figures to HMRC. One of the biggest concerns from our clients was the requirement to report quarterly returns to HMRC. This has also been delayed, in this case to at least April 2020. The exact start date will depend on the business’ financial year end, and will initially apply to VAT registered businesses with an income over £85,000.
April 2019? Isn’t that too far away to worry about now? Have you never heard of the Boy Scouts’ motto? Be prepared! Our advice to all our clients is to start organising themselves now, so that by the 2019 start date their software systems are set up and tested, and ready to go. Scrutton Bland have been running a series of MTD events across the region over the summer and will announce more once we know what the government’s plans are, following the Chancellor’s autumn statement. Not everyone is digital ready, what if a business still using manual records for tax returns? There are still many businesses who feel comfortable using traditional paper-based methods of recording their business information. With MTD as long as you can operate a smartphone or tablet then you can report to HMRC from that, using the correct software package. However we would suggest that businesses use MTD as an opportunity to look at the systems they use to keep financial records, and to ask themselves what information they need to extract from those systems to run their business. What about MTD compatible software? Will HMRC provide this? HMRC will not be providing free software so it is likely that most businesses will need to make an investment in some level of software package themselves. Many of Scrutton Bland’s clients have already made the transition to digital accounting via our SBLive service, and we are currently working with our software providers to assist with the development of SBLive to ensure it is fully compatible with HMRC’s requirements. For more information on MTD and to find out more about Scrutton Bland’s MTD training and information programmes, contact Graham Doubtfire on 01206 838437 or email graham.doubtfire@scruttonbland. co.uk
Plans are that businesses above the VAT threshold will have to keep digital records from 2019.
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T hink about the history of of England. Up until the 1950s, East End families (usually women and children) would decamp from London every autumn to the countryside to work for the next few weeks in the hop gardens. This was valuable work, which often helped pay for necessities over the winter months, and when the ‘hop cards’ which allocated a family a place on a particular farm were delivered they were so prized that a black market developed in London of stolen and forged cards – perhaps an early form of identity theft! The days of such intensive manual labour have long gone. Of the 72,000 acres of hops that grew across southern England at the end of the nineteenth century, only 2,650 now remain. But the taste for beer is stronger than ever – so where do all the hops come from, and how does the harvest now happen? Where do the hops for British beers now come from, and is there a terroir for hops as there is for grapes? Growing of hops is now primarily restricted to Kent and the West Midlands with acreage split evenly between the two locations. We believe that terroir does play an important part in hops. To give an example: the parentage of many hops grown in Germany, US and around the world is English (such as the Goldings hop variety which was first reported in Surrey in the 1750s). These hops however express themselves differently when grown on different soils with different temperatures and latitude (as day length is extremely import for hop growing). hops in this country and you probably have a somewhat idealised picture of the historic hop harvests in the south
For more information about Steiner Hops please see www.hopsteiner.com
What are the current trends in beers and brewing, and what do you think the next big thing will be? We have seen a massive growth in more heavily hopped and flavoursome beers in the past few years. Whilst this may be reaching saturation in the Western world there is still much more room for growth in Asia and South America for this beer style. In addition we have seen the global brewers respond to the growing threat from the much smaller micro brewers by purchasing many of these breweries, often at inflated prices. In the current market place it is hard to differentiate between genuine micro breweries brands and the multinational brands. This will probably result in drinkers searching out their local breweries who source local hops and malt for their beers. Whilst our breeding programme is naturally focused on developing more flavoursome varieties such as Denali which is packed with a pineapple punch, the less sexy focus is to improve yield. These agronomic factors include improved disease resistance meaning less pesticide spraying and improved drought tolerance such that irrigation can be minimised, all of which improve the sustainability of hops during times of climate change. Finally, what are your tips for pulling the perfect pint? Firstly, make sure the glass is clean and dry. Beer foam tends to dissipate when it comes into contact with oils that may be smeared on the surface of the glass, and a damp glass will produce less foam. We recommend a glass with sloping sides, such as the traditional pint glass shape, to get the best result.
How are the hops now harvested? The hop harvest runs through autumn, using specialist harvesters that mechanically remove the hop cones from the trellis. They are then transported to the cleaning facility, and the hop cones are mechanically separated from any remaining leaves and stems and sent to kilns for drying. Once the hops have reached the proper level of moisture content they are baled and stored in refrigerated conditions in order to protect their delicate balance of oils and resins. The leftover hop leaves are then macerated and spread back onto the land. The bales can then either be vacuum packed into smaller foils or milled into powder and pelletised which are then bagged into special nitrogen- flushed packaging to keep the pellets fresh. Is there still a market for English hops? English hops are synonymous with traditional English ale. The Fuggles and Goldings hop varieties in particular are renowned around the world for their delicate flavour and spicy, earthy and citrus fruit aromas which produces a balanced beer style with good drinkability. Whilst there has recently been a renaissance in the more heavily hopped IPA (India Pale Ale) beer style driven by the upsurge in US Craft Brewers, we are also experiencing a demand for less bitter, more drinkable or sessionable beer styles for which English hops are excellent.
Scrutton Bland have extensive experience working with businesses of every size. Our advisers work together across insurance broking, tax, business advisory, accountancy and employee benefits services to ensure that all of our clients are fully supported at every stage of their business journey. For more information please call 01473 26700 or 01206 838400 or see our website www.scruttonbland.co.uk
Hop cones are sent to kilns after picking
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W hether driven by a passion for the cause, the desire to put their professional skills to different use or simple altruism, modern Trustees carry out an essential role, in many organisations dealing with complex issues and without remuneration. In addition to this, trustees do not work alone, and can often have their fellow Board members and Executive team to contend with too. So what are the common problems facing either an individual Trustee, or the Board as a whole in the governance of their organisation? • The charismatic Chief Exec This is perhaps the biggest risk faced by Trustees. The Chief Exec is an employee, taking on the day to day running of the charity but is not ultimately responsible. They should be reporting to the Trustees, working within the framework they have been set and following the strategic direction formulated by the Board. Too often a charismatic Chief Exec will bend and shift the strategy to one that suits them as they gently lead the board along. Suddenly the activities and outcomes can be different from those intended and the Trustees are left exposed. The clearest example of this can be seen in the downfall of Kids Company, but that is replicated in smaller and less destructive ways in many other charities. The responsibility needs to sit with the risk, which leads us on to… • Group risk appetite The Board must be satisfied that they understand the key risks faced by the charity, the mitigations in place and whether they are happy to take these risks. The risk a Board is willing to take is not necessarily the sum of the risk appetite of the individual members. In reality it will tend to edge towards the more risk averse end of the scale as it is usually more comfortable for someone to accept less risk rather than more.
It is important for a Board to spend time understanding their risk appetite and fitting this into their strategy accordingly. This then needs to be clearly communicated to the Chief Executive and the appropriate parameters for operation and risk set. A formal Risk Register can be a very powerful document, useful for the Board as well as the Executive and very helpful for potential new Trustees who want to know what they are letting themselves in for. There have been charities that have taken a bolder approach, setting the risk appetite needed to deliver the purpose and recruiting Trustees that are willing to accept this risk. This is potentially a very effective approach but it does assume a large pool of willing candidates to become a Trustee, which may not be the case. How can you get involved? You need to be able to commit time to being a Trustee and bring knowledge, experience and skills to the table. This does tend to lend itself to a certain age demographic, whose input is invaluable, but can give issues around succession and sustainability. Charities need to explore if they need to widen the representation of Trustees around the Board table and if so how they can encourage this. This is not just about age, but also groups that are perhaps under represented. Some charities have made claiming expenses mandatory for Trustees as it is felt that this can be a barrier for the less financially independent. The Trustee can then donate the expenses back if they so desire, but it removes the stigma of making the claim. Whatever the approach, there needs to be a steady stream of new volunteers willing to become Trustees and innovation may be needed. New blood with different ideas is a very positive way of making sure a charity continues to deliver the desired outcomes.
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It is alarmingly common for Boards to discover that they are acting ‘ultra vires’ or beyond their purpose and this could lose the organisation its charitable status and tax exemptions. • But we’re a charity The final point is rather a sad one: charities are the subject of more frauds than other organisations, although arguably perhaps they just report them more often. There are many ways that charities can and will be targeted and it is necessary to have robust procedures and controls in place to try and limit the opportunity and impact of an attack. You cannot assume that no one would be low enough to target a charity, they can be seen as easy targets and it is for the Board and Executive to prevent this. The charity sector does so much good for so many deserving and desperate causes and people. There is risk, and be clear on what those risks are, but what a reward when you see the outcomes delivered; but in order for charities to survive, they are dependant of those individuals who are dedicated in volunteering their valuable time to fill roles such as those of Trustee. Scrutton Bland have many years’ experience working with charities and not for profit organisations across the region to provide accountancy and audit, insurance and financial advice. Contact Tim at tim.oconnor@scruttonbland. co.uk or tel 01206 838406
For Board members familiarity is an easy trap to fall into. Trustees, by their very nature tend to be the honest, trustworthy and all round decent members of the community, so it would seem logical to surround themselves with likeminded, similar people. The danger with this approach is that trustees are human beings too, and it is only natural that people spend their time focussing on the parts of the organisation that interest them and inadvertently forget about all the other equally important aspects. A skills audit of the Board, whether formal or otherwise, can be a very effective way of highlighting areas where there may be a skills gap. This practice needs to link to the overall strategy of the charity as well as its charitable purpose as otherwise there can be a danger that individual agendas can come into play. • Mission creep When charities are formed they are legally obliged to state their purpose and this is agreed with the Charities Commission. Just because an activity is charitable in nature it does not mean that a charity can do it, unless it is one of its purposes. There must be no ambiguity between the Board and Executive in ensuring that activities carried out do not stray outside of the agreed purposes. This can be a particular problem when chasing grant funding to utilise capacity within the charity. The Board need to be clear on their purposes and expected outcomes; any new activities or sources of funding must be assessed to ensure that they meet these purposes and will deliver the necessary outcomes.
What to do with the old coins If you are still in possession of a secret stash of the old version of the round pound coin then banks and post offices may still take them to exchange for the new coin (particularly if you are a customer), but it is worth contacting them first as this is only a temporary arrangement. Do you have a rare version of the pound coin? There were 24 different designs of the round
Compare this with the March 2016 ‘Peter Rabbit’ fifty pence. It first entered circulation in the Lake District (famous for its association with Beatrix Potter) and examples quickly appeared on online auction sites for many time its face value. However the Royal Mint then continued to issue this version of the coin, and current estimates are for 9.6 million of them in circulation, making it worth at most … fifty pence. The Royal Mint does not release total mintage figures of a particular version of a coin until a year after it has first been issued, so there is no easy way to tell if you are in possession of a future ‘Kew Gardens’, or just a ‘Peter Rabbit’. It is worth noting that the Royal Mint cannot offer valuations of pound coins (or any other coins for that matter) but will only verify if the coin is genuine or not.
Coin collecting as an investment? As with any other collecting activity, the value lies in the scarcity of the item. Keith Heddle, managing director of the coin investment arm of Stanley Gibbons says: “Most modern coins are never going to make money unless they are particularly rare – not a so-called ‘limited edition’ – or have been minted by mistake.” So can you make money from the old round pound coins? As they disappear to be melted down to make the newer version of the coin, it is possible that collectors will be increasingly anxious to complete their set of all 24 designs. So – in theory – yes, you might make a very small profit. But for a rather more reliable approach to maximising your returns from your money might we respectfully suggest that a chat with one of Scrutton Bland’s independent financial planners may be a more dependable option.
pound coin, some of which are rare and increasingly valuable to coin collectors (or numismatists, to give them their technical term). The rarest of these is the 2011 ‘Edinburgh City’ coin, which can sell for up to £35 on online auction sites; other examples include the 2011 ‘Cardiff City’ and the 2010 ‘London City’ pound coins. What about other rare coins that may turn up in my change? The most famous of the rare coins in current circulation is the ‘Kew Gardens’ fifty pence piece which was issued in 2009. Crucially for collectors, only 210,000 of the coins featuring the famous Kew Gardens pagoda were released into circulation. This has now made them highly desirable: their current value is about £30, although they have sold for as much as £100.
Contact our Independent Financial Advice department on 01206 838400 or 01473 267000 or see www. scruttonbland.co.uk
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Scrutton Bland have almost one hundred years’ experience (not quite as long as Tiptree!) advising local businesses on tax, accounting, insurance, employee benefits and corporate matters. For more information please contact Sharon Gravener , Corporate Partner at sharon. email@example.com or tel 01473 267060 .
There are many wild and wonderful jams to be found for sale, but are there any other fruits that are really not suitable for jams and preserves? It is unusual to find a fruit that is not suitable to be made into a jam or to be preserved in some other way. At Tiptree, we have lots of traditional jams but we’re also innovative, and have recently trialled growing the superfruit Sea Buckthorn which has a sour and acquired taste. We have yet to find a use for it! Little Scarlet is one of the most famous of the Tiptree jams, and is famously James Bond’s favourite conserve. Can you say how you have managed to cultivate this notoriously difficult variety of strawberry, and can it be grown in a domestic garden? As far as we are aware, we are the only ones in the world to commercially cultivate Little Scarlet. It has taken a great deal of time, patience and careful management of the plant stock to ensure that we have sufficient fruit for the jam factory to make Tiptree Little Scarlet Strawberry Conserve. As far as we know, this unique strawberry plant is not available to the domestic gardener and there are other varieties that will be easier to grow.
Employees of Wilkin & Sons control almost half the company shares through a trust. Why has the firm taken this approach, and how has it benefited the workforce? In 1989, it was agreed to create an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT), for the benefit of the whole workforce. Peter Wilkin, great-grandson of the company founder Arthur Charles Wilkin, identified a number of reasons for the decision to embrace Employee Ownership, including the need to protect the independence of the company, and also continuity planning. The Wilkin family have long held the view that employees as well as shareholders should have a say in the company’s affairs. There was also a feeling that employee ownership would have direct business benefits: Peter Wilkin explains: “There is good evidence that employees who work in a company in which they have a stake are more motivated and committed than those who do not.” Autumn is the traditional season for preserving the summer harvest ready for the winter months. What are the best autumn fruits to make seasonal jams and preserves? At Tiptree we harvest fruit for more than eight months of the year. In September and October we will be picking the most delicious Victoria plums, greengages, damsons and quince that will be made into fine preserves. Popular autumn jellies are crab apple jelly and also blackberry jelly.
When it comes to jams and preserves, Wilkin & Sons is one of the UKs best loved brands and has recently added a selection of fruit-based gins to its product range. Adviser spoke to the Tiptree based jam maker to find out more about them and their plans for the future.
In the early years the company shipped most of its jam to Australia. Why was that, and how much of the produce now goes for export? An Australian merchant met the founder Mr Arthur Charles Wilkin and bought the whole of the first batch of strawberry conserve made in June 1885. We now export a wide range of preserves to more than 65 countries: as an example Strawberry Conserve and Lemon Curd is very popular with our American consumers. The expansion of the railway system in Victorian Britain was undoubtedly a help in bringing in outside workers to Tiptree. Do you think that the limitation on migrant workers following Brexit will affect production capacity? The construction of the branch line between Kelvedon and Tollesbury came at a time when the Victorians were expanding the rail network across the country. From the late 1800s the majority of the permanent factory and farm workers came from Tiptree and the surrounding villages. The proposed limitation on access to seasonal overseas farm workers may make it more challenging to secure a full workforce on the farm in the future.
Wilkin & Sons now exports all over the world, but the firm has always had its roots in Tiptree. How did this small village in North Essex become the centre for a leading brand? The Wilkin family has lived and farmed in Tiptree since 1757, growing various crops including fruit, which suited the land around the heath. It was in 1885 that Mr Arthur Charles Wilkin made the first strawberry jam from his fruit and his success led to the development of a small factory which expanded over the years to the current factory. Tiptree is within the driest county in the country, meaning that water is of extreme importance, therefore we have invested in new systems and harvested rain provides 80% of the water needed for the crops.
Reader Competition Adviser readers can win a Little Scarlet hamper, courtesy of Tiptree. This traditional picnic basket contains a selection of six full-size jars of delicious jams, marmalade and chutney, including Little Scarlet Strawberry Conserve. The perfect present! To win this fabulous Tiptree hamper, simply answer this question:
Send your answer together with your name and contact telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org The competition is open to UK residents only. Entries close at 5pm on 1st December and Scrutton Bland’s decision is final. The hamper will be sent to your UK address. Your details will not be passed on to any third party outside of the Scrutton Bland Group.
Which famous fictional character said that Little Scarlet was his favourite conserve? Sherlock Holmes Hercule Poirot James Bond
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Export 2015/16 2014/15 Import 2015/16 2014/15
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How will the impact of Brexit affect cereal prices over the next few years? Nick Banks, Business Advisory Partner examines this year’s harvest prices and looks ahead to possible threats and opportunities.
Scrutton Bland have almost one hundred years’ experience in advising farmers, landowners, and those working in the rural industries with tax, accounting, insurance, employee benefits and development and diversification. For more information please contact Nick Banks on nick. banks@scruttonbland. co.uk or tel 01473 267073 .
As we head in to the autumn with the cereals harvest complete, work commences to establish the crops for harvest 2018 and marketing of the 2017 crop that remains in store. Challenging weather after a good start disrupted this year’s harvest, and whilst yield has held up, moisture content will necessitate drying which will erode profit margin.
The development of new markets outside the EU is another opportunity for UK agriculture; Algeria and Tunisia were the two countries that imported the most UK wheat in 2016. Our ability to grow crops of the right quality and specification may inhibit the extent to which new markets can be developed notwithstanding the strength of sterling. UK trade with certain non-EU countries is currently only possible through EU membership, so new relationships will need to be forged and it might be that it is price that enables us to compete against the negotiating strength and continuing trade agreements of the EU. To maximise the benefits of the UK market, farmers will need to continue to monitor their costs and maximise efficiency through precision farming. They will need to be seen to be the preferred producer to the UK supply chain – this might require better collaboration to engage with buyers and producers to provide assurance of quantity and quality of supply. Such collaboration will also stand producers in the best position to maximise any opportunity that the export market presents. Adding value and successfully growing premium crops will also maximise the opportunities to benefit from the UK market – 85% of the wheat used by UK flour millers is home-grown (source NABIM); subject to quality the shortfall is in the main imported from Germany and France. With a timetable which aims to complete negotiation of the UK exit from the EU by March 2019 it does mean that crops being planted now could well be sold in a post Brexit market. It is vital to evaluate how best your farming enterprise can benefit from the opportunities and take action now to mitigate the threats that new era will bring.
In 2016 the UK was a net exporter of £1.3m/t of wheat to the EU, although in 2015 the volume imported was only slightly in excess of that exported. The higher output of 2015 may have led to more commodity being available to export which would suggest, given the forecast 2017 harvest, much of what has been produced will be consumed within the UK market. In both years the UK exported a significantly greater amount of barley than that imported. In 2016 the volume of wheat exported represented 20% of the UK wheat harvest, and the volume of barley was 30%; but of the total tonnage exported, 80% of wheat and 67% of barley went to EU member states. The volume of trade with the EU is clearly a major factor influencing commodity prices in the UK, but what might a post Brexit marketplace look like in the event of a trade deal not being agreed? The overriding issue is supply and demand – will the UK output be sufficient for UK demand in which case will there be any surplus for the export market? There are a number of influences which may restrict supply: weather; the growing demand of the UK bioethanol sector; land coming out of production for development, and diversification to alternative crops and vines. The futures prices may support the view that the UK volume will remain tight and prices will reflect this. Long term concerns about limitation of supply could lead to genetic modification to enhance yield from a smaller cropping area.
16606 16444 14467 14200
Source: 2013-2016 Defra farming statistics published Oct 2016 and Dec 2016 2017 AHDB
The trend of strengthening prices of feed wheat offers farmers comfort, especially given the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations influencing the sector over that time frame. The impact of Brexit not only threatens the level or existence of direct support through subsidy, but also the market conditions in which commodities are traded. In the absence of a trade deal with the EU, tariffs may well be imposed which will impact on the volume of grain traded on the domestic market and with non-EU countries.
The outlook for the UK’s 2017 wheat harvest is 14.2Mt (ahdb.org.uk) which will be slightly lower than last year and the lowest in four years. This output will need to be measured against forecast demand and the balance of the import and export market, but futures prices indicate that wheat prices are predicted to strengthen over the next two years.
UK (LIFFE) Feed Wheat Futures Prices
134 136 138 140 142 144 146 148 150 152 154
£ / Tonne
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