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Future Farming Resilience Fund Interim Phase Evaluation

1 September 2021 - 31 August 2022

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Matt Lobley

CI/s in Exeter: Dr Caroline Nye, Dr Rebecca Wheeler

Research partners: Ipsos MORI

Funding awarded: £19800

Sponsor(s): DEFRA (via Ipsos MORI)

About the research

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the UK government has been working to develop a new system to replace the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Under the motto “paying farmers public money for public goods”, the seven-year Agricultural Transition period aims to help farms become profitable and economically sustainable, whilst recognising the importance of farming and the countryside in meeting environmental goals and addressing climate change as well as improving the mental well-being of the farming community. Between 2021 and 2027, the UK government will reduce and phase out the Direct Payments linked to the CAP in England. Savings from this will be used to support new initiatives for sustainable farming practices, creation of habitats for nature recovery and landscape-scale changes benefitting the ecosystem. The Future Farming Resilience Fund (FFRF) is one of these schemes supporting this and aiming to help farmers adjust financially and psychologically following Brexit. The FFRF provides support in the form of grants to organisations who deliver business support to farmers and land managers. The kind of support varies, but often involves information events, training events (e.g. workshops, seminars), networking events, innovation events, one-to-one business support including the development of plans and review of business processes, farm visits, and tailored online or telephone support. It is currently in its interim phase and a Scale-Up is anticipated for Spring 2021. The FFRF resilience support targets both farmer/land manager well-being and business performance. It is being delivered by organisations known and trusted in the farming community who already provide business support interventions. The incentive of the FFRF to farmers / land managers is that they receive resilience support for free, which should enable them to face the changes of the Agricultural Transition period.