26 June 2001
Farming News to cease publication
By Johann Tasker
FARMING NEWS, one of Britains big three agricultural titles, is to cease publication at the end of August with an unspecified number of job losses.
The closure comes hard on the heels of cuts in circulation and advertising revenue sparked by the downturn in farming and the foot-and-mouth crisis.
Staff were told of the decision on Monday (25 June). Some employees will be made redundant, while others may be offered other jobs within the company.
United Business Media (UBM), which owns the 62,000 circulation newspaper, confirmed that the company was restructuring its farming interests.
Farming News was Britains second biggest farming publication after Farmers Weekly which has an independently audited circulation of 84,000.
It is believed that some Farming News staff could join the newspapers sister publication Farmers Guardian, based in Lancashire.
UBM has also announced that Farmgate, its agricultural internet site, will close its web-trading facility, backing out of the e-commerce market.
In many ways, Farmgate was UBMs flagship site for e-commerce potential. But the technology was expensive and achieved little significant uptake.
A recent survey found that farmers and related businesses make extensive use of the internet but are reluctant to trade with each other online.
Other agricultural online trading platforms have also struggled because of the dot.com down-turn and the crisis in British farming.
Globalfarmers, which claims to be Britains biggest agricultural online trading exchange, axed half its workforce last April.
In the same month, the French online retailer Agrifirst.com abandoned plans to open an online “one-stop-shop” for agricultural inputs in Britain.
Shake-up in UBMs farming presence, FWi, 26 June, 2001
Internet popular – but not for trading, FWi, 19 June, 2001
Globalfarmers slashes workforce, FWi, 27 April, 2001
Foot-and-mouth hits farming dot.com, FWi, 23 April, 2001
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