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Submit your written evidence by 12 noon Wednesday April 20 2016

The viability of the UK small farm – a call for evidence

The Prince's Countryside Fund has commissioned the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter to undertake research on the performance and prospects for the small farm sector in the UK. For the purposes of the research a small farm is defined as a one to two person farm, i.e. requiring less than 2 Full Time Equivalent Standard Labour Requirements (SLRs).*

As part of this research we are holding workshops with interested parties and in advance of these workshops we are inviting the submission of written evidence on the following questions:  

  1. What do small farms contribute to the agricultural sector, the rural economy and communities, and the countryside which is distinctive and important in comparison to larger farms?
  2. How might a viable and vibrant small farm sector be encouraged and supported? This might include: the use of CAP measures, the operation of supply chains, taxation rules, tenure legislation, access to finance, and practices around succession and new entrants.
  3. How might small farmers improve performance and viability through, for example, increased efficiency, added value, diversification, and co-operation?
  4. We would also be grateful to receive any evidence detailing examples of ‘good practice’ where small farm businesses have thrived and where lessons might be learned for the sector as whole.      

Please email evidence to

Or send in writing to:

Professor Michael Winter OBE
Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP)
University of Exeter
Lazenby House, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PJ

Closing Date: 12 noon Wednesday April 20th 2016.


Written evidence submitted to the Small Family Farm Project will be used for both academic purposes and by the Prince's Countryside Fund as part of their work in supporting family farmers.

Evidence submitted may be published in full or in part for academic reporting purposes and disseminated at academic conferences, seminars, etc.

Your contribution will remain entirely anonymous unless you wish to be named. When you submit your evidence please state clearly one of the following preferences: 

  • I do not wish my name/organisation name to be included in any published results.
  • I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence but do not consent to quotes being attributed to myself/my organisation.
  • I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence and to having quotes attributed to myself/my organisation. 

The information provided to us will not be used other than for the purposes described above and third parties will not be allowed access to it (except as may be required by the law). Your data will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act, which means data will be anonymised and kept securely, indefinitely.

* See DEFRA.  2014. Farm Classification in the United Kingdom

Date: 23 March 2016

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