Farmers urged to seek advice as entitlement statements are
Following Defra's announcement that they are sending
out notification of the SFP entitlements to all farmers over
the coming weeks, and their indication that the much needed
2005 payments would follow by the end of the March, farmers
will now be able to plan their futures based on more definitive
Since the introduction of the Defra funded Farm Business
Advice Service (FBAS) in October, many of the farmers who
have taken advantage of the meetings and workshops held under
the scheme have clearly indicated that they were waiting for
such information before making the business decisions to address
their long term futures.
FBAS, managed by Business Link in the South West, aims to
help farmers to gain a better understanding of the financial
impact of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and give guidance
on how they can respond to such issues and discuss options.
Such support, help and advice is being delivered through a
combination of meetings addressing specific SPS issues, highlighting
the implications to the business and giving directions on
the way forward. Over 20 meetings have been held in the South
West to date with many more planned over the coming months
– details of future events can be seen on www.sw-gateway.com.
These group meetings are being supported by the provision
of individual clinics and the availability of one to one farm
visits, delivered by the Business Link network of approved
farm consultants and it is this area of work where Business
Link expect an upsurge in demand now the entitlement information
is to be finally available.
The one to one farm consultancy visits allows the farmer
to discuss the SPS issues directly pertinent to their business.
The consultant examines the business in terms of financial
and physical performance, updates the SPS calculation and
assesses the impact on the business. Finally they will make
recommendations on the way forward and signpost to other support
measures available. The emphasis at all stages of the process
is based on the farmer's own aspirations and objectives.
Advice is given accordingly together with a brief report for
the farmer's future reference.
Gary Ensor, FBAS regional manager with Business Link explains:
"With close to 1000 farmers having taken advantage
of the service across the SW region since its introduction
in October, it is clear that many farmers are looking for
support and advice to make the right decision for their business.
Having the definitive entitlement statements will enable farmers
to look at the future based on more accurate information and
the Farm Business Advice Service is there to help in this
process whether through the group meetings, clinics or the
one-to-one on farm visits."
To attend a meeting or to register your interest in taking
advantage of a one-to-one farm visit please contact Business
Link on 0845 600 9966.
For further information please contact press officer Carolyn
Daw on 01566 771863 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link through the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Business Link provides a free information
and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web
and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and
those considering starting a business. Additionally it provides
impartial business advice and support through a network of
partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register
of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon
and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to
the region under contract from the South West RDA. Business
Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional
Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance
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