The most common farm diversification option for farmers is tourism with many transforming traditional farm buildings into holiday accommodation. Nowadays, if you fancy making cheese, picking cherries, smoking fish, shearing sheep or indulging in your One Man and his Dog dreams, you can head down to a farm to stay whilst learning a new skill. On a farm holiday you can bed down in a cosy cottage or camping barn, a B&B or boutique hotel. Some of these ventures are so successful that they have overtaken the farming income on some farms.
With increasing energy costs, lower food prices and the real impact of Brexit yet to be felt, many of Britain's farmers are having to find new ways to make money. According to government figures, 62 per cent of UK farmers are having to diversify alongside running a traditional working farm and tourism is still the most common option for farm diversification.
Richard Corbett, Partner in Roger Parry & Partners’ Oswestry office, said, “Those farm businesses that are prepared to recognise that change is on the way, and have planned for the future, will be the most resilient in the face of the industry restructure that is forecast. Those farmers will also be best placed to take advantage of any future opportunities.”
Richard continues, “Bold decisions, new skills and financial investment are needed. Now is the time for every farmer to examine carefully their entire business and decide how best to improve its profitability. We know this is a major step for a lot of farmers but we urge you, you don’t have to do this alone. We can help and advice you all the way.
“Diversification has to be well planned and well-resourced so as to add to, rather than distract from, the core farming enterprise. The underlying profitability of existing trading businesses remains the first priority before diversification. Farmers must invest as much in business structures and management skills as the new product or service idea.”
Richard Corbett, Partner, said, “We are keen to help farmers looking to diversify. Our team of professional chartered surveyors have a long, successful, track record in helping farmers diversify. If you would like us to give you advice on which type of diversification would work best on your farm please get in touch.”
As a member of the NFU’s Rural Surveyor’s Panel, Roger Parry & Partners have endorsed their series of podcasts created by NFU Mutual to help those farmers who are considering diversifying. The podcasts are available on the NFU Mutual website: www.nfumutual.co.uk