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Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme introductory sessions confirmed

Farmers across the UK are being invited to join a major new programme being led by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

 

princes trust countryside fund

Farmers across the UK are being invited to join a major new programme being led by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Endorsed by HRH The Prince of Wales, the charity’s Patron, The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme will provide free practical and essential business support and one-to-one guidance to 300 small dairy, livestock and mixed family farm businesses across 15 regions in its first year.

Special introductory session will be taking place across the UK during November and December. This is an opportunity for farm businesses to find out more about the programme and meet their regional coordinator.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which aims to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life, is leading the £1.5 million, five-year initiative to help tackle some of the biggest challenges being faced by small farm businesses across the UK.

The Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, awards grants for charity projects which improve people’s lives. Since launching in 2015 over £6 million has been donated to charities in local communities across the UK.

Building on the success of The Prince’s Dairy Initiative the new programme aims to help farm businesses by giving them the tools to evaluate their viability and long-term sustainability as well as supporting them to make key decisions about the future direction of their business.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in July, The Prince of Wales said: “The small farms which have been such an integral part of Britain’s landscape for thousands of years are under threat. My Farm Resilience Programme is designed to respond to those threats by helping up to 300 farm businesses. It is the most far-reaching programme ever offered by my Countryside Fund.”

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “In recent years it has been really tough for many of our smaller family farms. By offering this programme of free, expert help and advice during these times of uncertainty, we will provide small farm businesses with new skills to help them build their business to be more resilient in the future.

“To retain a thriving sector, we need to ensure we have a diverse farming sector and support the vibrant small farm businesses which are such a vital part of the rural landscape. I would like to encourage local farmers to take up the opportunity of this timely programme.”

David Scott, trustee of the Morrisons Foundation, said: “Small farms are an important part of the rural economy and we are delighted to be supporting this initiative. We hope that local farmers sign up and benefit from the tools and advice on offer.”

Recent research commissioned by the Fund and carried out by the University of Exeter into the future of the small family farm in the UK, revealed a steep decline in numbers since the beginning of the century. The last three years of declining farmgate prices has put an unprecedented strain on farm businesses with the average farm income falling below £20,000 for the first time since 2007.

Visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience for full details of the programme, introductory workshops and dates and contacts details for the regional coordinators.

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