Contract Farming Agreement

A contract farming agreement is not a partnership; it is a joint venture between two parties. The Farmer is engaging the services of the Contractor and this trading position is preserved insofar as tax, VAT, etc. are concerned. Both parties retain their individual identity as farm businesses. Farmers provide land, buildings, and fixed assets, while the contract farmer supplied the management expertise, labour and machinery. Both advantages and disadvantages are associated with this form of partnership but is up to the student to develop the relevant arguments via the assessment and presentation.
Learning outcomes assessed
Developing understanding of the main components of a contract farming agreement
Developing strategic management plans and developing scenarios for sensitivity and market analysis
Evaluating the importance of business management areas such as economies of scale, labour requirement, machinery, legislation, trade, marketing etc. for the future strategic development of an agribusiness
Highlight the importance of collaboration and the need to increase productivity and efficiency of farming systems in a period of economic turbulence

(Use this document alongside the information provided in the Savills document)

You are an Agricultural Consultant working for Savills in Newbury, Berkshire. You have been contacted by the owners of Sheepdrove Organic Farm who would like some advice on what to do with their farm.

Your job is to create a plan for the farm and present it to the owners/Savills representative. The report needs to contain a contract farming agreement, however; there is no requirement for all of the grassland or all of the buildings to be included in the Contract Farming Agreement. It is up to you as the Savills adviser to advise the client on whether the grass and buildings should be included or not. If the grassland and buildings are not required for the Contract Farming Agreement, then you should offer other potential uses for them. If the grass and buildings are going to be included in the Contract Farming Agreement, you should explain to the owners what they will be used for, and who is responsible for their maintenance. The owners expect Savills to manage the Contract Farming Agreement going forward. You will therefore need to include your fees in the budget and cashflow. You may be questioned on how your fees are calculated when you present to the Savills agent.

Following the farm visit you shall in groups create the plan and present it during the presentation. After which using the feedback given for the presentation you shall write an individual report detailing your plan for the farm alongside a set of contract farming particulars.

Assessment criteria

The Assessment Includes

  1. Part 1 (Presentation)
    PowerPoint presentation covering your plan.
    o The advantages and disadvantages of Contract Farming.
    o Key information both financial and applied knowledge covering your plan
    o Clear rationale explaining why you have suggested your plan
    Marking Criteria Presentation:
  2. Part 2 (Individual Assessment)

You are required to prepare a contract farming application and financial proposal document covering:

• A budget and cash flow showing likely income and expenditure for a Contract Farming Agreement at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. You should use generic figures, but tailor them to Sheepdrove Organic Farm as much as possible.
• A proposal (including budgets) for what to do with the grassland and buildings at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. You may choose to include everything (the arable land, grassland and buildings) in one Contract Farming Agreement, or you can split each element out individually

The report should be written for the owners as a plan for what they should do with their farm.

• Concise Executive Summary Poster: This will need to summarise the report in a way that the reader can rapidly become acquainted with a large body of material without having to read it all. Hence, this section will need to contain a brief statement of the objectives, background information, and the main conclusions with good use of visuals. 30%
• Clear use of relevant information for the development of realistic business goals, good discussion of the strategic fit and well evidenced evaluations. The student must demonstrate clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the agri-businesses whilst being analytical in their discussion 40%
• Clear financial information and data to back up arguments 15%
• Appropriate referencing 5%
• Good layout and presentation of document 10%
Assessment is through a 10 minute group presentation to the module convener, Savills as the agent handling the applications, and the host farmer.

The actual contract farming agreement applications are to be done on an individual basis. A selection of the best ones will be forwarded to Savills.

Assessment will be marked based on how well you address the Terms of Reference (questions set), the feasibility of your proposals, the Agents decision on whether they think your presentation and report are professionally and logically crafted, and the standard of presentation/structure of the plan as well as clear financial information and supporting rationale/explanation of your management decisions.

• Presentations (15%) 10 minutes plus questions

• A full copy of your application (35%) and any supporting material should be submitted on Blackboard. We envisage the report being approx. 2000 words excluding all tables and references. The most important part is that your report meets the brief not how long it is.

Submission details

Your assignment must be submitted electronically to Turnitin
Return date for marked work

Insert a date 15 working days from submission
Penalties for late submission

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Plagiarism is the fraudulent representation of another’s work as one’s own. This applies to whatever the source of the material (for example, a published source, the web, or the work of another student), whether the material is copied word for word or paraphrased, and whatever the extent of the material used (including ideas, arguments, words, diagrams, images or data).
Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct and will be penalized accordingly.
By submitting your work online you are making the following declaration:
By submitting my work online, I certify that it is my own work, or the unaided and original work of a project group, and use of material from other sources has been properly and fully acknowledged in the text. I have read the definition of plagiarism given above and the advice on good academic practice contained in the Program Handbook. I understand that the consequence of committing plagiarism, if proven and in the absence of mitigating circumstances may include failure in the Year or Part of my program or removal from membership of the University. I also certify that neither this piece of work, nor any part of it, has been submitted in connection with another assessment.
Green stickers
If you are entitled to special assessment arrangements because of a disability or specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia) you will be entitled to include a “green sticker” with your written work, to alert markers to this situation.
• For any assessment work which you need to physically hand in on paper, you can obtain a supply of green stickers from the Disability Rep in your School.
• For work submitted online, through Blackboard or Turn it in, you will be provided with an electronic version of the green sticker.

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