Scillonian farmers to get more out of islands through Objective One
Farmers on the Isles of Scilly will soon be benefiting from a scheme to address the particular needs of Scillonian agriculture thanks to a £900,000 project led by Mainland Marketing to maximise the potential of the islands agriculture and horticulture industries, hoping to increase sales to £2,376,000 over three years.
The Specific Project for Agriculture in Scilly will involve four main areas of activity to boost production and profitability for the islands farmers. A marketing and brand enhancement campaign for the islands core horticultural export of scented narcissi flowers and bulbs will soon be implemented to build a strong Isles of Scilly brand identity to add value to the flowers grown on the islands. It is hoped that the collective marketing of the islands unique product through both consumer and trade press will be effective in securing a better position in the market.
Growers will be encouraged to add value to the processing of their bulbs and flowers through a system of grants. Individual farmers will be able to access direct funding to enable them to achieve a greater price for their products through enhanced growing and packaging facilities or through the creation of websites to open up new distribution channels.
Exploring the possibility of red meat and dairy production on the islands, feasibility studies will be funded by the project. Due for completion in May 2003, the results of the studies will indicate the viability of such new business ventures for farmers on the islands.
The project will offer practical advice and assistance to all the growers on the Isles of Scilly, with access to training offered through the Trenoweth Horticultural Centre to encourage environmental sustainability and farming best practice on the islands.
Machinery sharing facilities set up by the project will also enable individual farmers to use the latest planting and lifting machinery, where the costs of purchase and benefits of use can be shared by groups of farmers with common machinery needs.
Commenting on the value of the project for the Isles of Scilly, Andrew May, Joint Managing Director of Mainland Marketing said: "This substantial investment in the future of agriculture and horticulture for the Scillies will result in real benefits, not just for the farming community, but for the islands as a whole. We are delighted to have been granted Objective One funding to enable this project to go ahead and are now looking forward to a healthy and sustainable future for agriculture and horticulture on the islands, during which we hope to put our scented narcissi on the floral map of Britain."
The £297,468 Objective One grant has come from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, (EAGGF) with match funding provided by DEFRA and £283,298 of additional funding coming from the private sector.
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.
EAGGF aims to:
Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land.
Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas.
Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas.
Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas.
Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage.
For further information contact:
Tel: 01720 422223
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD