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Plan now, avoid woe later
Succession planning is
difficult, but it needs to
be done, and the
sooner the better.
By GERALD PIDDOCK The thing about a shared vision is that if we come
and sit down on a regular occurrence and talk this
stuff over, we can achieve some things. It's about
engineering things early.''
Rabobank farm succession specialist
FAMILY FARMS need to put
time aside to discuss succession
as soon as possible, a succession
Rabobank farm succession
specialist Tony Hammington
said it was a subject that
required crucial conversations,
involving emotion, varied
opinions and high stakes.
The cost of doing nothing was
getting expensive, he said.
He encouraged the farmers in
the room to start engaging in
conversations with their siblings
to start engineering the
Family members also had to
have a shared vision. It allowed
succession change to be
managed. It recognised that
success for the business and the
family were different.
The thing about a shared
vision is that if we come and sit
down on a regular occurrence
and talk this stuff over, we can
achieve some things. It s about
engineering things early.
Obtaining clarity between
these two was critical for
succession to work, he said.
Quite often where things fall
to bits later on is when you
haven t got that.
Expectations about the
business from family members
had to be communicated and put
out in the open as early as
possible, especially if there was a
divergence of opinion.
Now is a good time to find
that out sooner rather than later
because over time they are only
going to get further apart, Mr
Recognising the capability of
the next generation was critical.
This required an honest
conversation with siblings,
particularly if they had a level of
capability that was less than
required for the business.
It s hard to look them in the
eye and tell them that we don t
think you re up to it.
They are critical conversa-
tions that are not always easy to
engineer from inside the family.
These discussions should be
done before they were forced, by
a family death.
A succession plan could be
formulated once that clarity and
expectations were realised, he
UP AND UP: Prices for grapes and vineyards are on the
rise. Pictured, wine judge Yvonne Lorkin during the
judging for the 2012 Avenues International Aromatic
out of slump
AS WINEMAKERS rub their hands over this
year s high-quality harvest, prices for grapes and
viticultural land are also on the improve.
The industry has been recovering from twin
blows during the global financial crisis: a glut of
grapes created by heavy expansion, while export
customers dwindled or demanded lower prices.
Now a report from real estate agency Bayleys
says industry prospects are looking much brighter,
due in part to reduced vintages and growing bulk
This has led to a number of the major beverage
companies returning to the land market in order
to secure supply, the report said.
Grape prices have risen to their best levels since
the peak of 2008.
Once commanding $2161 a tonne, they sank to
a low of $1293 in 2010, but last year edged up to
$1315 a tonne. The anticipated quality of this
year s vintage was likely to bring growers an extra
$400 a tonne.
Land values were also on the rise, the report
said. It also predicted that consolidation would
continue in the industry.
They would continue to absorb many of the mid-
sized wineries, splitting the industry to a far
greater extent than is currently the case, between
boutique producers and the large corporates .
Export volumes had continued to grow despite
the downturn and looked set to be boosted further
by China if the industry could find ways of secur-
ing distribution, the report said.
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