NEW­BIE’S to in­spire new farm­ers into in­dus­try

The Scotsman - - Weather Farming - By BRIAN HENDERSON bhen­der­son@farm­

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.

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