Stuart has been analysing agricultural, horticultural and food sector businesses for 30 years. His experience is highly diverse. He has evaluated the performance of smallholders and vast plantations. Geographically he has worked in regions as far afield as Western Europe and South-east Asia. He taught business evaluation, change assessment and investment analysis techniques and developed some new approaches while on the academic staff at Wye College, University of London. His approach is always to look for positive and practical solutions to business problems that join all the dots. The analysis of investments including technical and marketing reviews and cash flow projections and analysis has been a specialty for many years.
Occasionally, Stuart has evaluated national agricultural and food strategies. When he moved to Ireland in 2013 he brought himself up to speed on Irish agri-food sector by reviewing the national agri-food strategy, Food Harvest 2020. It is probably the most comprehensive review of its type done on what has become a five-year ritual in Ireland. His conclusions were published online and provided the initial postings for his blog on Irish agriculture and food matters. With Brexit happening, he has taken a keen interest in how a new British farming and food policy may evolve. To that end he has prepared a comprehensive collection of policy ideas which he uses to underpin his own writings on what could be a significant redirection in farming and food policy.
Whilst believing that there is an important role for the provision of taxpayer support for farmers and rural communities in terms of providing ‘public goods’ like food security, maintaining landscapes, and habitat and water catchment management, Stuart believes that farmers should be properly rewarded by the market place. His thinking is always market-driven rather than supply-led. Hence, he is always following and reviewing markets, both from the consumer demand side and the, often forgotten, production supply side. Within the context of, for example, the analysis of agricultural and food sector investment projects, he has been conducting market reviews for many years as one cannot prepare adequate projections for any business or sector without them.
For further information on accessing the above skills, please contact Stuart