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Pause on agribusiness investment as COVID-19 eats away at certainties

Henry Wilkes, a London-based agricultural investment advisor working with Farrelly Mitchell on a Spanish food-based project believes new investments are vulnerable. “Will investors start to see distressed assets crop up, and choose those ahead of pioneering or greenfield possibilities? If so, why should they opt for riskier early stage projects, if there are proven opportunities available?”

It is an evolving situation, and the consensus among investment funds appears to be about playing the waiting game, but the potential emergence of distressed assets is undoubtedly a motivator. If there is to be growth and investment opportunities in food and agribusiness in the short to medium term, this looks a likely channel.

Specialised produce vulnerable?

With guidance in short supply, what can we deduce?

What is apparent is that farming businesses serving niche and specialised products for restaurants and other catering outlets are highly exposed. If lockdown doesn’t work and restaurants do not reopen in a conventional manner, can these businesses adapt?

Wilkes cited the example of a goat cheese manufacturer he spoke to recently who serves high- restaurants in the UK. That individual says his business will run out of money within three months.

Meanwhile in southern Europe, berry producers are under similar pressure, as restaurant demand has suddenly vanished.

Agribusiness investment specialists

The disruptive impact of the pandemic has caused much concern throughout the food and agribusiness industries, with businesses struggling to adapt to lockdown and the return to normalcy remaining uncertain.

Our risk analysis & management services can play a crucial role in navigating disruptive market and regulatory shifts and ensuring resiliency in the face of challenging times. We support businesses across the food value chain, from processing & manufacturing to sales & distribution, ensuring that all stages of the industry remain profitable and viable in the long-term. To improve your market position and safeguard your commercial future, contact Farrelly Mitchell today.

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Pause on agribusiness investment as COVID-19 eats away at certainties

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sean@initiate.ie

Managing Director
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