Sector trends

Giving farmers a helping hand post-Brexit: Future Farming Resilience Fund

Farmers and land managers can now access further support to help them adapt their business for the future as agriculture in the UK continues to adjust to new ways of working.

Introduced in March this year

The FFRF was created to give farmers and land managers access to business support from trusted organisations in the farming community. This support is designed to help recipients get to grips with the changes relating to policy, climate change mitigation and funding taking place within the farming industry in England, and how they directly impact their business. 

Getting support via the Future Farming Resilience Fund means having another set of eyes to help you tackle all manner of challenges impacting your business

Rachael Watson
National agriculture director, Lombard

One such change is the post-Brexit move away from EU support schemes, including the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the phasing out of direct payments between 2021 and 2027. A new system will be introduced under which farmers and land managers will be rewarded for the provision of public goods and for delivering measures that help the environment, including flood defences, improvements to air quality and the protection of wildlife. 

Ensuring a smooth transition

Following an initial phase of funding, the FFRF is now moving into an interim phase of support from August 2021 onwards, to help farmers and land managers understand the transition away from direct payments and other key changes that will affect their future.

As experts in agricultural asset finance, Lombard helps farming businesses acquire machinery and vehicles. Rachael Watson, Lombard’s national agriculture director, welcomes the timely launch of the fund.

“Getting support via the Future Farming Resilience Fund means having another set of eyes to help you tackle all manner of challenges impacting your business. This support will help you get up to speed – and ahead of the curve – with the changes coming within the agricultural sector, and ensure that you have a business fit for the future.

“We at Lombard are long-term supporters of the agricultural sector,” adds Watson. “We’re committed to helping the sector remain resilient and profitable going forward for the benefit of everybody – but first and foremost, for farmers and their families.”

Any farmer or land manager who currently receives direct payments is eligible to apply for support via the FFRF. They will be given free, tailored advice to help them understand the impact of reductions to direct payments on their business, how their business models might need to adapt for the future, as well as support surrounding business planning, performance recording and succession planning. Support can be delivered in the form of workshops supported by experts or through direct, one-to-one advice. 

Organisations providing FFRF support are located across England, including the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and The Landworkers’ Alliance. To avoid missing out on this phase of support, Defra is encouraging applicants to reach out to support providers promptly, though a further phase of support will be available from 2022.

For a full list of organisations participating in the FFRF, visit GOV.UK.

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