FWAG SW, together with key partners are exploring farm advice provision across Gloucestershire. This innovative project funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation will survey farmers to understand where they currently access advice under the headings used by the Sustainable Food Trust’s Global Farm Metric and match advisors to need through a specialist platform.
The project will help identify gaps, whilst also helping to build a network. The advisers will be invited to trial a mapping application hosted by the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) Hub, so that this tool can be further developed to add value for both farmers and advisers. The hope is that advice provision can become more collaborative, joined-up, and easier to access for farmers. The project will also consider how advisers are accredited and how expertise can be quality assured through the BASIS Environmental register.
The aim of this partnership project is to deliver a pilot that demonstrates coordinated action to support Nature Friendly Farming through farm and community advice provision. At its heart is support for agro-ecological farming practice that delivers food while also delivering multiple benefits for biodiversity and society. This pilot has potential to demonstrate to both national and local government how a systems approach can enable farmers and communities to act collectively for nature recovery and climate emergency and how they might become more resilient both economically and environmentally.
There is much synergy between the aims of this project and the focus of the GFirstLEP Agrifood and Rural Business Group’s work on skills and business innovation. To this end the GFFP have enabled alignment of this work to ensure opportunity is optimised and duplication avoided. Additional value associated with this project will be to link what is learned about gaps in advice supply to opportunity for skills provision.