Over 90% of contributors anticipate a greater need for farming support organisations over the next five years, a new survey conducted by The Farming Community Network (FCN) has shown.
The survey of over 160 farmers, agricultural businesses and members of the public across the UK found a significant belief that over the next five years there will be an increased need for the services provided by farming support organisations and charities.
48% of those surveyed said the need will increase, while 44% said the need will increase significantly.
The survey also found that while a small majority are optimistic about the future of farming in their area (55%), significant concerns exist around financial stability, mental wellbeing, succession and retirement, managing change and many other issues.
Jude McCann, CEO of FCN, said the survey provides insights into people’s concerns about the future of British farming.
He said: “The farming industry is experiencing a period of radical change and whilst there will be opportunities for many, farmers will need to work hard to future-proof their businesses and protect their livelihoods. 2020 has already seen a significant number of challenges, not least disruption caused by Covid-19, and the sector’s future is uncertain as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
“This survey paints a picture of some of the key issues those in the sector are concerned about and the increasing demand for farming support organisations.
“It is important farmers remain resilient through these changing times. For some this may mean diversifying their farming businesses and others may decide to plan for retirement, succession or exiting the industry. FCN and other rural charities are here to provide guidance and support to farmers through the challenges ahead.”
The Farming Community Network is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.
One way FCN is supporting farmers to prepare for change is through its FarmWell website – a one-stop resource hub which contains a wealth of free information about personal and business resilience, mental and physical wellbeing and information around how to successfully manage through change: https://farmwell.org.uk/
The Farming Community Network is a member of the Farming Help partnership – comprising of FCN, Addington Fund, Forage Aid, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), and RSABI, supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund. We hope the survey will also help to raise awareness of the unique support the national farming charities provide farmers and their families. More information about the partnership is available here: https://www.farminghelp.co.uk
Call 03000 111 999 if you:
- Feel concerned or anxious and would like to talk to someone who understands farming, will listen to you and help you think through your options
- Would like help to draft a contingency plan to ensure you and your farm are prepared, should you be unable to work for a time.
- If you or people you rely on become ill or are self-isolating and you need to find help locally- we will endeavour to find support for you in your local area. We will source contact details of local organisations and groups who may be able to assist you in finding help to feed livestock, collect shopping or collect prescriptions if you are unable to do so. This directory will be revised and updated in the coming weeks and months.
Or visit www.fcn.org.uk