Welsh livestock farms offered £1,000 for benchmarking project

Two thousand Welsh livestock farmers will be paid £1,000 each for taking part in a benchmarking project designed to give them a better understanding of the technical and financial performance of their business.

The £2.15m red meat benchmarking project is being funded through the Welsh government’s EU Transition Fund and aims to help the red meat sector get ready for Brexit.

The project is being managed by Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).

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To be eligible, producers must be registered with Farming Connect and have a minimum stocking level of 235 breeding ewes or 25 breeding cattle, or a combination of both.

The scheme will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, with farmers required to complete an online questionnaire on the financial and physical performance of their business for the 2016-17 or 2017-18 financial years.

In return, participating farmers will receive a bespoke assessment of their business and productivity, which will include anonymous comparisons with similar businesses within the sector.

All participating farmers will also receive a payment of £1,000 to compensate them for the time and effort of taking part.

Farmers have been invited to start inputting their data from 8 October and the project will remain open until 10 December.

‘Financially fit’

Hybu Cig Cymru’s industry development manager, John Richards, said the scheme was an opportunity for farmers to step back and take a really good look at how their business was performing.

“With Brexit just around the corner, it is crucially important that our businesses are financially fit.”

NFU Cymru livestock board chairman Wyn Evans said the union was encouraging farmers across Wales to participate in the programme.

“As we approach Brexit and market competition looks set to increase, collecting accurate data will play an increasingly important role in the success of farming businesses across Wales.

“With £1,000 compensation available to farmers participating in the scheme, we believe this programme holds numerous benefits for those taking part, not least the individual benchmarking report that will help increase farmers’ understanding of the financial and technical performance of their business.”

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