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R&D Tax Credits for Food & Drink

With population growth, warmer temperatures and drier soils, the future of agriculture would look bleak if the sector weren’t to take full advantage of the government’s research and development (R&D) tax relief scheme.

The scheme is readily rewarding businesses that put investment, research and innovation into tackling these significant challenges. With Brexit done and hopes of a greener, post-pandemic world, the government is eager to put the UK firmly at the centre of the agri-tech revolution.

Whether it’s big data, drone technology, robotics, vertical farming, the need for R&D in the industry is enormous. Yet, many agriculture businesses are still drastically underclaiming the R&D tax credits available to them — or aren’t even claiming at all. You could also be missing out on tens of thousands of pounds to plough (no pun intended) straight into your business to spend however you choose.

Many agriculture companies view activities that are rich in R&D as merely the day-to-day running of their business. Others are put off by the complexity of making a claim. Added to this is the lack of confidence many businesses have in distinguishing between qualifying R&D activities and routine development that wouldn’t typically qualify, which is where we come in.

Food & drink projects that may qualify for R&D tax relief:

  • Healthy ready meals with fewer preservatives and less salt;
  • Improving food content nutritional value;
  • Developing ingredients or food formulas that are both new and sustainable;
  • Mitigating allergies such as dairy and gluten whilst maintaining taste;
  • Improving the texture, taste and consistency of the food;
  • Development of faster, healthier and safer food handling;
  • Improving shelf life through variation of processing, storage temperature and packaging;
  • Developing better ways to minimise contamination, waste and spoilage; or,
  • Scaling up sample batches in a kitchen test environment to full production speed and quantity

Key questions on R&D tax relief answered

What activities can be included in a R&D project?

  • Defining technical objectives
  • Identifying uncertainties
  • Feasibility studies, reviewing new and competing technologies
  • Analysing, designing and developing the technology
  • Producing technical specification or other documents to explain and support the R&D project and advancement
  • Testing the product, process, service or software
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Administration, finance and personnel services specifically required to support R&D activities
  • Training to support R&D

What expenditure can be claimed for in a R&D project?

  • Staff Costs – Employee costs (salary, national insurance and employer pension) are apportioned for their time spent on the R&D project plus any reimbursed associated business expenses
  • Software – Purchased for R&D purposes and costs apportioned for any subsequent use
  • Subcontracted R&D – You can claim 65% of what you paid your R&D subcontractor
  • Utilities & Consumables – Water, fuel, power and material used in the project
  • Prototypes – Produced for R&D purposes

About Easy R&D’s R&D tax credit claim process

Claiming R&D tax relief is a niche.

Here at Easy R&D, we’ll probe your company’s activities to reveal the true extent of your company’s R&D.

Averaging £54,000 per claim, we’re a business built around expert tax professionals, skilled technical report writers, and flawless processes to ensure your R&D claims are successful — with maximum return. You could even reduce your corporation tax bill to zero.

HMRC’s criteria for claiming is purposefully broad, so what qualifies may surprise you.


Interested in claiming R&D tax credits?