Know How / Diversification

The income generated by diversification is a vital component of many farming businesses – but it can involve unfamiliar planning, legal, staffing, plus health and safety issues.

This page offers tips and advice to guide you through your diversification journey. You’ll find information to help you to set up and run a thriving new enterprise on your farm.

Key areas of focus:

  • Inspirational farm diversification case-studies
  • Opportunities for grant support
  • Avoiding legal and tax pitfalls
  • Successful staff management
  • Business planning and marketing strategies

Case studies

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How farm retailers are retaining lockdown customers

According to a Farm Retail Association (FRA) survey, 92% of members saw a significant rise in customer numbers after lockdown rules were imposed in March. Almost 80% had introduced a…


How one farmer adds value with ‘worthless’ wool and bracken

Bracken is a scourge for many hill farmers, eating up valuable grazing land, providing an ideal habit for ticks, and proving difficult to control. But a farmer in Cumbria has…


Farmers Weekly Awards: Diversification finalists 2020

This year’s three finalists have all developed sound businesses to keep the farm afloat and provide a succession platform for future generations. The diversifications include a fruit farm selling direct…


Tips on setting up an award-winning diversification

Emma Boyles and her team have earned greater recognition for their quality fine wool business since winning Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year 2019. We find out how they…


Field to plate - diversification on Japanese farms

Japan’s food culture is built on strong regional associations and loyalties, alongside superb quality and freshness.  However, accelerating rural depopulation, falling farm incomes, concerns over food security and a crippling…


How a Cornish farm set up on-farm deer processing facilities

Cornish farmers Matt and Pip Smith are hoping to capitalise on soaring demand for British venison having recently launched their own branded meat company, Westcountry Premium Venison. New-Zealand-born Matt, a…

Practical advice

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Business Clinic: Selling farm with solar and buildings leases

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Andrew Chandler of Carter Jonas advises on farm sale considerations when…


So you want to… Sell bottled water?

The drinks market can offer a wealth of opportunities for a farmer able to use their holding’s natural resources. Though a sizeable investment at first, a bottled water enterprise can…


Coronavirus: Diversified business pointers for safe reopening

Farm attractions should complete a documented health and safety risk assessment and operate a phased reopening after the coronavirus lockdown. The advice is among pointers provided by farm and estate…


The land opportunities for farmers in a post-lockdown world

At a time when the public has grown a greater appreciation for the countryside, local food and new activities, farmers should be seeking chances to benefit. The Covid-19 pandemic and…


So you want to… get paid for having dogs on your land?

Dog walkers and farmers haven’t always been natural allies, but that could be about to change after some landowners have begun to profit by renting out safe countryside spaces by…


So you want to...make and sell ice cream?

Adding value to fresh milk by turning it into ice cream is a popular and profitable enterprise for many dairy farmers. With margins on ice cream sales up to 10…


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Farmshops continue to #FeedTheNation as lockdown eases

Farm shops are predicting a positive future, with early indications suggesting new customers who turned to them in lockdown are remaining loyal. Turnover is up on pre-Covid-19 levels at Newlyns…


Land with forestry potential sees unprecedented prices

Hill farms and bare land with the potential for planting trees have achieved unprecedented prices due to competitive bidding from commercial forestry investors. This rise in demand was the biggest…


Exclusive survey: 97% farms find diversification profitable

Ingenuity, drive, skill and hard work are all clear to see in the results of Farmers Weekly’s diversification survey, carried out in association with Carter Jonas.  A vast range of…


5 minutes with... Diversification award winners the Moretons

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…


Why planting trees can improve farm performance

Trees and hedgerows might shape the appearance of the Great British countryside, but their role goes way beyond simply looking pretty. From improving animal welfare to mitigating the effects of…


How farms on the edge of cities survive and thrive

Agricultural buffers at the edge of the rural-urban fringe provide their own unique challenges, but they are also home to some of the country’s most successful farm businesses. For many…