The south west's Adam Henson has shared his top tips for successfully growing a rural business at Strawberry Fields in Lifton.

The event, that took place on Thursday October 10, focused on the future of farming, changing consumer habits and diversification.

Adam, who along with his business partner Duncan Andrews, built a tenanted farm in the Cotswolds into a successful visitor attraction, delivered a talk to 30 agriculture professionals from across the region. He spoke about the issues currently facing the agricultural sector.

Speaking at the event, Mr Henson said: “Despite many aspects of farming remaining unchanged over the years, we can’t say the same about the economic and political landscape in which we operate. This is why it’s so important for those who own and run farming businesses to constantly look at ways to evolve and grow.

"As Strawberry Fields here in beautiful Lifton has shown, bringing a new type of customer onto the farm through different activities acts as a great opportunity to showcase UK farming, and the fantastic produce we provide. For some farms, it can also provide the transparency needed to help build up trust and confidence with consumers around welfare standards.

“By taking meaningful steps to protect its natural capital, a business can become more resilient, more efficient and help safeguard its future.

“The best advice I can offer is to take time to reflect on the farming operation, prepare and then make plans to change. Make sure evolving consumer demand is considered and, above all, share best practice and learn from others."

Following the Strawberry Fields visit, Adam spoke to 70 agriculture professionals from across the region at the Holsworthy Livestock Market. They discussed current opportunities and challenges the industry is facing, focusing on the value rural professionals can add to farmers and the industry in general.

The event was hosted by Lloyds Bank Agriculture.

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