The final round of Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund (FFRF) is due to begin in England in the autumn.
Defra will provide 17 organisations with grant funding to provide free consultancy services to farmers, following the gradual removal of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
The £32m fund is expected to support up to 32,000 farm businesses and will provide enhanced advice, including more time and services.
The final round of funding is due to run from October 2022 until March 2025, following the closure of the interim stage of the scheme in August.
Earlier phases of the scheme have seen 6,600 farming enterprises receive free business advice. The final phase funding of £32m is triple the £10.7m of the interim phase.
Andrew Powley, team leader at Defra, said: “Any farmer or land manager who receives BPS in England is eligible for free business advice during the early years of the agricultural transition.
“The Future Farming Resilience Fund awards grants to organisations. These organisations then provide free business advice. They work with farmers and land managers to understand how the changes to farming will affect their businesses and help them to plan for the future.”
The different types of advice on offer will vary between providers; ranging from farm visits and consultations to full recommendation reports and help with grant applications.
What’s on offer
Ceres Rural has secured funding for the final stage. So far, the consultancy firm has provided support to more than 400 businesses through the earlier stages of the scheme.
Tim Isaac, project director at Ceres Rural said: “Given recent world events, there is now even more for farm businesses to contend with since the last stage of the fund, with inflationary pressures and increased market volatility adding to their concerns.”
The firm will be offering three different packages of advice to suit different business requirements. These could cover a range of support offerings such as carbon audits, benchmarking, farm resilience reports and tailored business plans.
“Even if they have previously taken advantage of the fund, they can apply again for a different offer or service including a follow-up business review,” says Mr Isaac.
The full list of providers offering support is:
- Brown & Co
- Ceres Rural LLP
- Devon County Council
- DJM Consulting
- GSC Grays
- JH Agri Consultancy
- Laurence Gould Partnership
- Matt Hague Agri-Business
- Natural Enterprise
- Promar International
- Soil Association
- The Prince’s Countryside Fund
- Wilson Wraight
Further information on how to enquire and what each individual provider can offer can be found on the Defra website.