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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LIVESTOCK

How lamb kofka recipe helped farmer increase flock profits

A lamb kofka recipe developed by a young Pembrokeshire sheep farmer is allowing him to capture a greater share of the profit margin in sales of progeny from his grass-fed…

DIVERSIFICATION

Why ice cream venture is key to succession on family farm

When Tom Stable and his wife Anna returned home to join his parents, Mike and Denise, at Bolton Manor dairy farm, near Ulverston, six years ago, they soon realised the…

AWARDS

FW Awards 2019: Diversification Farmer of the Year finalists

The three finalists shortlisted for the 2019 Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year award have invested a huge amount of time and energy and overcome significant challenges to set…

ENVIRONMENT

Organic farmer branches out into agroforestry

Eastbrook Farm is home to renowned organic farmer and chief executive of the Soil Association, Helen Browning. She took over the farm, and its subsequent conversion to organic status, at…

DIVERSIFICATION

How contractors achieved substantial year-on-year growth

Brian Thompson and Rachel Timms operate BTAC Groundworks and Agricultural, undertaking jobs from site clearance and digging foundations to hedging and fencing throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. Since establishing the business…

DIVERSIFICATION

Video: So you want to… sell milk direct from farm?

Liquid milk is going through an identity crisis. Unchanged branding in supermarkets and limited marketing means dairy alternatives have stolen a march on the white stuff. AHDB Dairy research agrees,…

Practical advice

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DIVERSIFICATION

Why research is key to diversification success

Farmers looking to diversify should consider doing in-depth market research before taking the plunge, to be confident that they are giving potential projects every chance of success. Investing borrowed or…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

So you want to... set up a milk vending machine?

With about one-fifth of farmers planning to diversify to survive after Brexit, according to a recent NFU Mutual report, milk vending machines could prove an attractive option to add value…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

Tips for managing staff in diversified farm businesses

Staff management in a busy venture can take up a huge amount of time, whether it's recruitment, juggling rotas or making decisions on pay issues. With 70 full- and part-time…

FARM ENERGY

How the new renewable electricity export scheme works

A new scheme has been launched promising a guaranteed market for surplus electricity generated by renewable energy installations. We asked Roadnight Taylor senior consultant Richard Palmer to explain what the…

DIVERSIFICATION

So you want to… get into contracting?

Farmers and contractors work in partnership to get the biggest and most specialist jobs done throughout the year. As machinery and labour get ever expensive and difficult for an individual…

DIVERSIFICATION

So you want to... open a campsite

An estimated 15.7m domestic camping and caravanning trips were made in the UK last year, making it a potentially lucrative additional income for farmers with land to spare. So how…

Insights

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LAND MARKETS

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…

DIVERSIFICATION

So you want to… get into veal

Veal has long struggled to shake off its past reputation involving wooden crates and long journeys across the continent which earned the British public’s disapproval and effectively killed the trade…

BUSINESS

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…

DIVERSIFICATION

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…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

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…

DIVERSIFICATION

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…