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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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…


Doorstep milk round revived by dairy farm selling direct

When dairy farmers Anthony and Carl Grimshaw, and Carl’s partner Louise Blundell, sat around the kitchen table last October to discuss taking on a milk round, they never dreamed that…


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…


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…

Practical advice

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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…


Advice on getting best power purchase agreement deal

The drop in global and domestic energy markets makes it vital generators of renewable energy shop around for the best price on power sold to the grid. Power purchase agreements…


How diversified businesses are coping with lockdown

The Bazeley family run well-established self-storage and bottled beer businesses at Offwell Farm, near Fareham, Hampshire. A tenant of Southwick Estate, Martin Bazeley started the storage business in 2003 and…


Why farms may be liable for big business rates bills on solar

Farmers are being caught unawares by business rate charges running into thousands of pounds on solar PV installations. Energy consultant Roadnight Taylor warns that farm businesses could be in line…


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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…