Keynote speakers at the Farm Business Innovation, held at the Birmingham NEC earlier this month, say that diversification opportunities are there for the farmers looking.
“The rise in staycations, the climate emergency, Brexit, and cost of living crisis have all provided opportunities for farmers looking to diversify,” said Ian Bell, of peer lending platform Folk 2 Folk.
Ally Hunter Blair, who has equestrian and glamping businesses on his Herefordshire farm, encouraged fellow farmers to take a leap of faith: “Use your skillset and learn from your mistakes. Don’t see barriers on your farm, see opportunities. Look into your business with fresh eyes.”
While William Roobottom outlined the scope for promoting farm-based businesses on social media. He has developed an extensive following through sharing videos about his sheep flock and encouraged farmers to have a go: “Be honest and be authentic because that is what people want to see.”
Farm Business Innovation attendees also heard from keynote speaker Patrick Wrixon, who runs a care farm in Herefordshire which provides opportunities for people with mental health problems to benefit from spending time outside. He said: “Our overall aim is to enable people to reach a point where they can manage their own health in a sustainable way.”
Nichola Bell, Head of Events for Agriconnect said: “It was great to see so many farmers at the show looking for ideas on how to take their businesses forward. It’s an exciting time for us at Agriconnect too, with this being our first year running these events. As a team we have plenty of ideas on how to make the shows even better in 2023 and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the NEC on November 15 and 16.”