How Britain’s Farmers are Diversifying
Although Brexit is still a cause for concern for many UK Farmers, one silver lining is that Brexit encourages individuals, within the Agricultural Industry, to diversify the resources that they already have. Nowadays, about half of all UK farms use some form of diversified activity in their farming business and these bring an average of £10,400 extra revenue per farm. Diversification means that you can invest in a variety of assets in order to reduce the risk of all investments dropping in price at the same time. Ultimately, this means that diversification can protect you from economic declines- and within the Brexit era it is especially important to try and counteract any possible changes. Furthermore, diversification can support industries that peak seasonally-like Farmers- by creating more stable streams of revenue.
What are the ways in which I can diversify my farm?
The first thing you should do is focus on the assets you already have. For example: Do you have spare land? Are all of your outbuildings in use? Are you utilizing all-natural resources and waste products effectively? Could you incorporate your local community into your rural environment?
After considering these questions, here are some ideas of ways you could diversify your business:
- Renewable energy: Nearly 40% of farmers and growers are using the sun, wind, farm by-products and energy crops to produce energy. Furthermore, the extra energy produced generates at least 10% of UK electricity needs, which is the equivalent of 10 million households.
- Livestock products: Producing and selling sheep cheese, llama farms and dairy alternatives like goat milk will support you in creating extra revenue. Livestock finance can help you to achieve this.
- Crop products: Growing and selling speciality flowers, energy crops and pharmaceutical crops are a great way to diversify your business.
- Retail outlets: You could open a farm shop selling produce or handmade goods.
- Training and promotion of rural crafts: Although this is a niche market, offering dry stone walling workshops could be beneficial for you.
- Tourism: You could open up land for camping, or even use a building for a bed and breakfast.
- Venue Hire: You could turn the grounds or an out building into a wedding venue, which could create revenue for you all year.
- Property: You could develop property such as houses, or offices on your extra land to generate extra income.
- Waste Products: an anaerobic digestion system could be an investment as it turns the slurry produced by the dairy cows into electricity which would power your farm and the surplus would go back to the national grid.
It should be stated that if you are to use already existing buildings for agricultural purposes, then you will not have to obtain planning permission. However, if you wish to use it for something other than what it was designed for, e.g. a wedding venue, you will have to speak to your local council and submit your proposed designs.
How do I go about diversifying my farm?
It is important to consult a professional. Chatsbrook strive to understand your business as well as your aspirations so that we can offer comprehensive, objective advice. During contact with you, we employ our specialist knowledge regarding rural finance in order to create informed and transparent communication. We can offer a range of bespoke finance agreements for assets so that you can continue to protect your earnings and expand your business.
We understand that in some circumstances they may not be the cash flow available to kickstart diversification. If initial costs are a source of anxiety to you, don’t worry-Chatsbrook have got your best interests at heart! We can discuss releasing capital from an asset that you already own, or we can determine how an asset could be affordable to you. All you need to do is get in touch with our friendly team on 01603 733500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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