The CAAV has grown and developed to serve and respond to the practical needs of agricultural and rural Britain. Those needs and CAAV work have changed over the years from a countryside that was overwhelmingly farmed by tenants to one where agriculture has been joined by the demands for public goods and diversified businesses.
Handling the valuation issues between landlord and tenant when let farms changed hands, valuers came together in local associations, with the oldest current one, Suffolk, founded in 1847, soon followed by others. These discussed how farming improvements and fertility as well as dilapidations should be recognised and valued.
With increasing legislation on farm tenancies and taxation, thirteen local associations founded the CAAV in 1910 to provide a national voice on such matters for agricultural valuers, a forum for professional debate, establish national standards and ensure more scientific and consistent practice across the country.
The CAAV established itself quickly in dealing with further proposed tenancy legislation, questions from members and associations and publishing scientifically based tables of manurial values.
The First World War brought not only the demands for men, horses and food but also compulsory purchase and war damage while the pressure to plough up pasture raised tenancy issues. One local association secretary become chairman of the War Office’s Forage Committee.
After the War, the CAAV was active in the development of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1923, developed Costings of Operations, recommended arbitrators to the Lord Chief Justice and encouraged uniformity in valuation practice.
The Second World War saw even more pressure than the First and then, as the tide of war turned, national attention focussed on post-War reconstruction.
A New Britain
The CAAV, by now covering the whole of England and Wales, both undertook a complete reorganisation with a national framework for examinations and worked with Government on its new agricultural policy for the Agriculture Act 1947, promoting productivity and improvement. In abolishing local customs for tenancies and laying down national law, that Act emphasised the place of a national professional body which started issuing technical publications.
As rural England became more owner-occupied and urban pressure intruded more strongly, so the work of CAAV members broadened progressively to include the many other areas of work that are now the mainstay of the profession with compulsory purchase, development and taxation as well as agricultural tenancy reform and evolving farm policy. The CAAV’s annual Tenanted Farms Survey (now the Agricultural Land Occupation Survey) was started in 1977 to monitor changes in the wake of tenancy succession and new capital taxes. This gives the analysis of changes that informed the 1995 tenancy reform and continuing discussions over tenancy law.
The CAAV affirmed its status as an independent professional body, with entry governed by qualification in its rigorous practical, written and oral examinations. Fellows of the CAAV are allowed by law to make deeds for Farm Business Tenancies, a privilege normally reserved to lawyers.
After the United Kingdom entered the EEC with its CAP in 1973, the rising tide of EU legislation from milk quotas in 1984 to environmental controls alongside repeated rounds of complex CAP reform all brought work for the CAAV and its members. It joined The European Group of Valuers Associations (TEGoVA) in 2004 to have a voice in European issues over property valuation.
Just as the CAAV was involved in the work on the post-War agricultural policy, so it is now actively engaged with the development of post-Brexit agricultural policies across the United Kingdom.
As that illustrates, devolution within the UK bas brought further changes with legislation and policy developing in each part of the country. In 2010, the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA) affiliated to the CAAV followed by the Northern Irish Rural Valuers Association (NIRVA) in 2015, so that the CAAV now covers the whole United Kingdom and engages with governments in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and, at least for the moment, Brussels to seek practicality in public policy so that it can be effectively applied on the ground so that clients can be advised and then take business decisions.
Now and The Future
The CAAV now has its largest membership ever – and growing – with a strong examination system. It is active in representing, briefing and qualifying agricultural valuers across the very wide range of work they undertake. The CAAV website and publications ensure members have more information readily available than ever before.
The CAAV’s work, upholding professional standards, relies (as throughout its history) on the voluntary commitment of members to the profession and its education, resting on the independent life of local associations, an active leadership and a willingness to react practically to new situations.
The CAAV Motto - “Do What Is Right Come What May”
Adopted on the suggestion of Sir Illtyd Thomas, President in 1932-33 and later Lord Mayor of Cardiff. Nearly a century later, it is still seen to encapsulate the expectation of professional standards.