FARMERS in in the South West were encouraged to sign up for support from The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) at a breakfast meeting held at the Royal Cornwall Show earlier this month.

The event, hosted by the UK’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual, included briefings on how the charity supports farmers in the livestock and dairy sectors, both crucial to agriculture in the South West.

The breakfast was attended by NFU Mutual’s CEO, Nick Turner, as well as representatives from the PCF, with farmers sharing their experience of how the fund has supported them and helped make their businesses more sustainable.

The PCF was founded by the then Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall — now King Charles — in 2010.  It receives support from NFU Mutual, through the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 

Other breakfast briefings will be hosted at other major agricultural shows by NFU Mutual throughout the summer.

 Beth Pritchard, NFU Mutual’s Community Engagement Consultant, said: “These are challenging times for farmers, particularly in the livestock sector here in the South West and the support available through The Prince’s Countryside Fund can really make a difference to the success of farm businesses.  

“NFU Mutual is proud to be a long-standing supporter of the charity though our NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, and it was great to see the event really well attended.”

Commenting on the Farm for the Future programme, Keith Halstead, Executive Director of the PCF, said: “The PCF wants to make a positive difference through helping those who live and work in the countryside, particularly the smaller family farms and we are delighted with the significant improvements in skills and knowledge arising from the programme’s first year. 

“With 95 per cent of participants reporting feeling more confident in planning for the future, we are intrigued to see what our next cohort achieves. And I’d like to thank NFU Mutual for their continued support.”

The PCF strategy for the next two years is heavily focussed on extending support to more than 10,000 family farms across the country, providing life-changing business training and bespoke advice on a range of topics, from diversification to succession planning.