UK: A Farmer's Guide To Joint Ventures

Last Updated: 4 December 2017
Article by Robert Lee

Why would a farmer enter into a joint venture?

There are several reasons a farmer might consider setting up a joint venture: they may need more resource (monetary, machinery or simply more manpower); it might enable an aspiring farmer to get a foot on the farming ladder (which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive); and a JV can help a family farm to navigate a potentially difficult period such as a death in the family.

Regardless of the reason, JVs are bespoke agreements which reflect the circumstances of the contracting parties and clearly set out their respective rights and responsibilities.

Main types of farming joint venture

The most common types of JV within the farming sector are:

  • Contract Farming
  • Share Farming
  • Partnerships

Contract farming

This is an arrangement where a landowning farmer employs a contractor under a contract in which the contractor will provide labour, machinery and management expertise for the farmer's business. The farmer will usually provide the land, buildings, fixed equipment, livestock (if any) and meet business overheads.

The contract will set out the details of the arrangement, providing clarity and certainty regarding each party's obligations and responsibilities as well as payment provisions, which usually involve the contractor receiving a fixed annual payment and an agreed percentage of the net profits. Although contracts of this nature are often short term, it is up to the parties to decide on their duration.

Contract farming is beneficial to both parties: it effectively allows the farmer to control farm policy and delegate farm work; and allows contractors to maximise economies of scale by providing their services to several farmers without having to invest in land or other high value fixed assets associated with farming.

Share farming

Share farming describes the arrangement where the landowner and incoming farmer will farm the same land as self-employed share farmers, each carrying on their own farming business and being responsible for their own business accounts and tax returns.

Usually, the landowning farmer will provide the land, buildings and fixed machinery while also paying a percentage of certain input costs. The incoming farmer will provide working machinery, moveable equipment and technical ability while paying the remaining input costs.

The relationship is governed by a Share Farming Agreement in which the parties will agree the proportions in which they will share costs (inputs), responsibilities and the value of the output of the land, usually income from sales.

Share farming is usually a medium or long term arrangement between the parties. Such arrangement is typically beneficial for a landowning farmer who wants to reduce their day to day operational involvement in the business but ultimately wants to retain management responsibility. Similarly, share farming is considered to be ideal for a new farmer who wants to run his own farming business but does not have any land.

Partnerships

A partnership is defined at law as 'the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit'. Most commonly adopted between family members, a JV farming partnership would involve partners sharing the risks, costs and responsibilities of running a farm.

The extent to which risk, costs, profits and responsibility are apportioned should be agreed between the parties in a Partnership Agreement. However, if there no legally drafted Partnership Agreement, the partnership will be governed by the default provisions of the Partnership Act 1890 (which, if triggered, can jeopardise the future of the farming business). Not only are partnerships popular within family farming businesses, they are also commonly used by non-landowner investors who want to make a return on capital.

What to include in a joint venture agreement

Regardless of the type of joint venture agreement, there are a number of key provisions that should be considered by the parties.

Responsibilities

Agreeing and detailing the responsibilities of both parties to the JV must be included in any agreement. Both parties should know precisely what is expected of them so that workload is neither duplicated nor disputed.

Profit and loss

The extent to which profits and losses are apportioned should be clearly agreed at the outset of any JV to reflect the contributions and commercial aims of the parties. Consideration should also be given to potential periodic reviews of profit and loss apportionment to reflect the subsequent understanding between the parties.

Termination

Mechanisms need to be incorporated in any agreement which specify why, when and how either party is able to terminate the agreement. Similarly, the inclusion of a dispute resolution procedure should be agreed to allow for swift resolution in the event of a dispute arising. A smooth exit from the agreement will enable both parties to assess their next steps and proceed as cost effectively as possible.

Summary

The high cost for aspiring farmers to start a farming business makes JVs very attractive and it is likely that the use of such structures will become more and more common. Nonetheless, to ensure that they work for both parties, it is vital that Joint Venture Agreements are properly considered and scrutinised so they reflect what both parties want to achieve, both during the life of the agreement and after its termination.

December 2016

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions