Free farm business resilience advice providers named

Defra has announced 19 organisations that will receive funding to offer free consulting advice to farm businesses from August onwards.

Farmers are being urged to sign up to the resilience scheme, which offers tailored support to help adapt business practices as the basic payment is cut.

The organisations are expected to offer advice on a range of issues, including business model changes, succession planning and benchmarking.

See also: Farm collaboration: Examples and tips for success

In total, £10.7m of funding has been awarded – an increase of £1.7m compared with the original announcement of £9m made in March.

The full list of organisations offering advice:

  • AHDB
  • Berrys
  • Brown & Co
  • Bury Beet Group
  • Ceres Rural LLP
  • Devon County Council
  • DJM Consulting
  • JH Agri Consultancy
  • Kite Consulting
  • Landworkers Alliance
  • Laurence Gould Partnership
  • MB Hodgson & Son Limited
  • Natural Enterprise
  • Niab
  • Promar International
  • Ricardo-AEA 
  • RSK Adas
  • SRUC
  • The Prince’s Countryside Fund

The full contact information and coverage for these providers can be found on Defra’s future farming blog.

Defra farm minister Victoria Prentis said: “We are committed to helping farmers and land managers throughout the agricultural transition to feel supported to make the best decisions for their farms, families and future.”

This will be the interim phase of support, with further funding due to be released in April 2022.

A summary report is due to be released by Defra in the coming weeks, outlining the findings from the initial phase of the scheme. Early indicators suggest farmers who received advice in the pilot felt more informed to make necessary changes to their business models.

The AHDB secured £3.9m of funding and will work alongside consultants and advisers to offer its services. It aims to support about 4,000 farm businesses through a new review tool.

Steve Dunkley, AHDB head of business, insights and skills, said: “Our research has shown that 76% of beef and sheep farmers and 67% of cereal growers are not planning on making changes in the face of current policy changes, or are adopting a wait-and-see approach.

“This funding will enable us to help 4,000 farmers and growers take a proactive approach to the biggest policy shift that they will face in their careers.”

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This article forms part of Farmers Weekly’s Transition series, which looks at how farmers can make their businesses more financially and environmentally sustainable.

During the series we follow our group of 16 Transition Farmers through the challenges and opportunities as they seek to improve their farm businesses.

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