Janet Dwyer features on BBC Countryfile

Janet Dwyer recently featured on BBC’s Rural Affairs show ‘Countryfile’ which was aired on Sunday June 16th.

The item, which was presented by Tom Heap, was highlighting the changes that have occurred to farm sizes over the last two decades. Although many traditional ‘family farms’ still exist, many have become much larger to remain economically viable.

A large-scale dairy farmer was featured who has 5000 cattle, who explained that he had to scale up his enterprise due to small margins associated with the mainstream sector supply chain. An alternative perspective was presented with the Nature Friendly Farming Network that is working with a range of smaller-scale farmers supporting them to market and sell their products direct, benefiting their enterprises and economic viability.

Janet’s contribution related to the reasons for the changes and pressures associated with these farming sector changes. She discussed the rationale for the increasing scale of farming enterprises but also highlighted the opportunities for small scale enterprises to ‘add value’ via short supply chains, which can enhance their economic resilience.

These comments directly relate to recent work Janet has been involved with and published by NICRE. Their ‘State of Rural Enterprise’ report highlighted that farms in parts of England are looking to boost income by selling more products direct to customers. Further related reports are available from the NICRE website.

The episode of Countryfile featuring Janet can currently be viewed on the BBC i-Player. The focus of the episode was Wanlockhead, a small village in the Scottish Borders region. The item related to farm size commences after 12:30, with Janet’s comments at 19:50.