NEWBIE’S to inspire new farmers into industry
A major new industry award focused on innovative new ideas is to be launched this autumn to encourage new entrants into agriculture – and it will be open to farmers, crofters and smallholders across the UK.
While some might feel the Eu-funded NEWBIE (New Entrant network: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture) award might stretch an acronym too far, the initiative has been set up by the European Commission as part of a scheme to help new entrants develop successful businesses.
The wider project aims to build networks between newcomers to the industry – new entrants or farm successors – and their advisors across Europe. And winners in the UK will get the opportunity to compare their farming innovations with Europe’s best new farmers.
Dr Lee-ann Sutherland who heads up the NEWBIE work at the James Hutton Institute said that applicants for the award would have to demonstrate how they overcame barriers such as access to land, labour, markets and profitability.
The prize will be €500 to put towards the cost of training or an international visit, as well as an award plaque, farm video, and opportunity to participate in a European new entrant conference with other award winners.
“New entrants are critical to the future of UK farming. This award will help highlight and support creative new entrants as they develop their businesses,” said Sutherland.
“We hope that winners will be inspired by their interactions with other innovative new entrants across Europe and share what they have learned.”
UK steering group member James Mackessackleitch, of the Scottish Land Commission, added:
“There are fantastic examples of trailblazing new entrant farm businesses out there already, and as well as celebrating some of our newest and most innovative farm enterprises, the NEWBIE award will also help draw attention to the opportunities and benefits new entrants bring to the sector.”
Applicants for the NEWBIE award will be accepted from individuals or groups established for between 2 and 10 years. More information is available on the NEWBIE and James Hutton websites.