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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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…


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…

Practical advice

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So you want to… run a care farm?

Accessing an agricultural holding on a regular basis can help a wide range of people with a vulnerability improve their health and wellbeing and build social skills. It’s an opportunity…


Business Clinic: Tips to set up a social enterprise on farm

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Christopher Turner of Carter Jonas advises on finance and budgeting for a social care…


So you want to… offer fishing?

For some farmers, diversifying into fishing seems like an obvious step. The market, by all accounts, is buoyant; many farms already have rivers, streams and lakes, so surely sticking in…


How to get your bid in for £35m diversification grant scheme

Farmers have just three months to lodge their initial bids for funding under a new £35m rural grant programme. The scheme, run by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE),…


Top tips and advice on diversification from farmers

Farmers Weekly’s first regional diversification event in Somerset brought together farmers and advisers to share tips and experiences of planning and running alternative ventures. Andy Fussell, who runs a substantial…


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…


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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…