80% Of UK Farmers Forced To Seek Alternative Revenue Streams

80% Of UK Farmers Forced To Seek Alternative Revenue Streams - Carbon Herald
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Roughly 8 out of 10 farmers in the UK are feeling the squeeze, according to a recent study, pushing them to seek alternative revenue streams.

Tough market conditions are forcing farmers to explore alternative ways to make money from their land.

The research, commissioned by Investec Wealth and Investment and The Game Fair, underscores the ongoing struggles of those working in agriculture. 

The study surveyed 100 freehold farmers, all of whom reported adopting new income streams to boost their finances.

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For 80% of the surveyed farmers, the decision to diversify wasn’t optional. Current market forces have created significant pressure to find additional income sources.

Rising costs, relentless pressure from retailers to keep prices low, and labor shortages have all taken a toll on farms in recent years.

However, there’s a silver lining. Over half (54%) of the farmers reported an increase in farm income over the past two years thanks to these new revenue streams.

Beyond Crops and Cows: A Diversified Future

Scott Jones, from Investec Wealth & Investment, highlights the financial challenges farmers face: “The pressure of rising costs on their balance sheets is just one of several challenging external factors facing farmers at the moment.”

“While this is resulting in some having to increase their debt levels, our survey shows that a large majority are making the most of the government subsidies and grants that are available to them. It’s also very positive to see farmers getting the help they might need to access these, in order to benefit from the support they provide,” Jones said.

The study also revealed a growing focus on environmental sustainability. Two-thirds of the farmers are incorporating practices like tree planting and carbon sequestration to increase biodiversity.

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Other popular income diversification strategies include selling directly to consumers at farmers markets and leveraging tourism opportunities through glamping or holiday cottages.

Jones highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of farmers who are exploring various options, from carbon capture to glamping, creating new products, or even contract farming with local suppliers.

James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, emphasizes the importance of the study’s findings: “The findings from the research highlight key factors affecting the farming community which is an important part of the future of our countryside.

“Our partnership with Investec Wealth & Investment is at the heart of our drive to create the perfect opportunity at The Game Fair for farmers to come together to share values, discuss the latest topics and find solutions to the challenges they face.”

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