Last year for farmers to claim free support to access Sustainable Farming Incentive from the RCF

May 21, 2024

Defra’s SFI announcement comes at an opportune time as The Royal Countryside Fund’s (RCF) Farm for the Future programme enters its final year providing free business and environmental support for farmers.

Aimed at farmers who received the now-closed Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England, Farm for the Future provides workshops and a one-to-one meeting for every farm to help tackle challenges and grasp the opportunities on offer linked to the agricultural transition. Covering 18 locations across England, the programme offers both in-person and online support from trusted, local partners to ensure tailored guidance for each farmer’s area.

Mick, who attended Farm for the Future sessions in Lancashire, said: “One of the key things I’ve got out of the programme was learning more about the SFI opportunities – I’ve now got all the paperwork ready to go. It’s beneficial to be in discussion groups with open-minded people willing to discuss ideas as well as giving everyone an outlook for the future.”

Inspired by its founder, HM King Charles III, The Royal Countryside Fund acts as a catalyst, enabling change and developing resilience, working with local partners who deliver bespoke programmes of support.

Over three years, Farm for the Future has achieved impressive results with 95% of participating farms saying they have increased confidence in their ability to plan for the future. With over 1500 farming families taking part across England since 2021, the programme has people and their welfare at its core.

Maddy Taylor, Head of Operations at The Royal Countryside Fund said: “Farm for the Future is a proven source of trusted advice, delivered in an approachable, relatable way. The Royal Countryside Fund, as a charity, is able to give this advice entirely impartially, and we aim to provide ongoing support to Farm for the Future farmers long after the programme has ended. We’re working with an excellent network of local and regional farm support groups to deliver Farm for the Future, who have an in depth understanding of the issues facing farms in their local area.”

Registration to take part in Farm for the Future closes at the end of September 2024.

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