Steerpike

Eustice farm reaps what it sows

Eustice farm reaps what it sows
Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
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George Eustice has had a rocky relationship with farmers since taking over as environment secretary last year. Trying to balance agricultural interests with Boris Johnson’s vision of ‘Global Britain’ has proven a difficult challenge at times, with Eustice facing flack over the lack of food safety protections in the Trade Bill and criticism over his suggestion that lamb farmers rear cows in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

The industry itself has endured a difficult time during Covid, with the pandemic forcing supply chains to be drastically restructured to take account of the closure of bars and restaurants. So Mr S was pleased to read this morning that the Eustice family farm Trevaskis is doing rather better at present. Accounts published for the Cornish farm, which Eustice worked at for nine years and is now run by his brother Giles, show annual total equity up by 23 per cent from £553,508 to £683,394 for March 2020, the month that the pandemic hit Britain. Profit for the year after tax is up by more than 50 per cent from £80,916 to £129,886 while net current liabilities are down from £615,368 to £532,622.

The company is however still ‘reliant on the ongoing support of its bank.’ Its annual statement notes how ‘the directors were able to mitigate’ Covid’s impact ‘by shifting focus onto the farm shop which has seen an increase in sales since the year end’ and by taking ‘advantage of government support through the staff furlough scheme where necessary’ with the company’s bankers extending ‘support as required.’

Mr S wonders how long it will be before the Corbynistas start renewing their calls about Tory family members profiting from big farmer.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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