What are the Prospects for Small Farms?

The Prince’s Countryside Fund prince

The Prince’s Countryside Fund was established by the Prince of Wales in 2010 and exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.   Every year, the Fund provides more than £1m in grants to nationwide projects that help provide a secure future for the countryside.  The Fund also commissions research into issues affecting families and rural communities.

Working with the University of Exeter

The Fund is concerned about the future viability of small family farms.  Together with the University of Exeter, the Fund is working on a research project to identify the key factors that help small farms survive.  The outcome of the research is to improve the prospects of family farms, and show how farmers can improve their performance through increased efficiency, added value, diversification, co-operation and succession planning.


How you can help

In the first instance, the research team is asking for submissions of written evidence on the following questions:

  1. What do small farms contribute to the agricultural sector, the rural economy and communities, and the countryside which is distinctive and important in comparison to larger farms?
  2. How might a viable and vibrant small farm sector be encouraged and supported? This might include: the use of CAP measures, the operation of supply chains, taxation rules, tenure legislation, access to finance, and practices around succession and new entrants.
  3. How might small farmers improve performance and viability through, for example, increased efficiency, added value, diversification, and co-operation?
  4. We would also be grateful to receive any evidence detailing examples of ‘good practice’ where small farm businesses have thrived and where lessons might be learned for the sector as whole.

Based on the responses, you may then be asked to attend workshops being held with other interested parties.

Please email or send in writing evidence to:
Professor Michael Winter OBE
Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP),
University of Exeter
Lazenby House,
Prince of Wales Road,

Closing Date: 12 noon Wednesday April 20th 2016.

To find out more about this research from the University of Exeter click here.


To find out more about this research and how The Prince’s Countryside Fund supports farm businesses and rural communities, please contact Maddy Fitzgerald on 020 7566 8797 or madeleine.fitzgerald@bitc.org.uk.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is committed to doing more to boost the viability of small farms across the UK and the outcomes from this research will be fundamental in shaping this work. The research findings will be published in summer 2016.


Written evidence submitted to the Small Family Farm Project will be used for both academic purposes and by the Prince’s Countryside Fund as part of their work in supporting family farmers.

Evidence submitted may be published in full or in part for academic reporting purposes and disseminated at academic conferences, seminars, etc.

Your contribution will remain entirely anonymous unless you wish to be named. When you submit your evidence please state clearly one of the following preferences:

  • I do not wish my name/organisation name to be included in any published results.
  • I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence but do not consent to quotes being attributed to myself/my organisation.
  • I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence and to having quotes attributed to myself/my organisation.

The information provided to us will not be used other than for the purposes described above and third parties will not be allowed access to it (except as may be required by the law). Your data will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act, which means data will be anonymised and kept securely, indefinitely.

Read more at http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/leep/newsandevents/news/articles/theviabilityoftheuksmallf.html#SRW3AkRJYhpSVkLB.99

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *