Future proof your farm: Future Farm Resilience support and resources
We’re offering free advice to farmers and growers in England who are moving over to payments that support the Agricultural Transition.
Go straight to our Events page.
"I’m glad to say I’ve just got our SFI application away and been successful in stacking plenty CS options too. The compatibility of many of the SFI options with the organic CS options really makes a great combination so I’m grateful to the Soil Association for your lobbying in this regard!"
Recent FFR attendee
Our work as a charity involves interacting and influencing Defra, so that as payments and support are worked out, we have been ‘in the room’ and able, as far as possible, to make sure the voices of organic and low-input farmers are heard at the highest level.
This engagement means we are uniquely situated to understand how to make the most of Countryside Stewardship (CS), Sustainable Farming Incentives (SFI) other land management schemes and grants.
Webinars and in-person workshops
You’ll know we’re operating in a shifting landscape. Our webinars and workshops are based on the most up-to-date information and announcements from Defra.
You can find out where and when on our events page.
These workshops are relevant for all types of farming activities, and all farmers and growers are welcome to attend. You don’t have to run an organic or low-input farm, although our expertise particularly relates to these types of enterprises.
You'll learn more about:
- the impact of reductions to direct payments on your business
- how your business models might need to adapt
- business planning
We'll also be able to answer questions relating to:
- where organic or low input farming fits in with the changes in support payments.
- what the components of the ELMS scheme are, and how they will best reward organic and low input farmers.
- how you can make the best use of Countryside Stewardship
Once you’ve attended a workshop, we invite you to join one of our farming advisors for some advice that’s tailored to your particular business. This can take the form of a site visit, a phone or video call, or correspondence by email.
This is a Defra-funded initiative and is free to all participants. Defra are doing some of their own monitoring and evaluation, to understand its impact, so they may contact you to fill in an entry and exit survey at the start and end of your participation. They may also invite you to complete surveys. All communication relating to this evaluation will come directly from Defra.
Please also note, taking part is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time and your data will be destroyed. Please inform us at email@example.com if you want to withdraw from the programme.
We take the latest information and distil it into a more digestible format.
What the government’s Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) proposals mean in practice, February 2023
SFI and ELMs update, September 2023
Payments for organic farmers, June 2023
Handbook for the SFI updates, September 2023
Sustainable Farming Incentive guidance, August 2023
To get started with baseline monitoring, we recommend these services:
Soil Association Exchange
Our independent service takes a whole farm measurement approach, looking at six impact areas and using 22 metrics across the farm. Two services are available, the free-to-use Exchange Explore, and Exchange Excel, a more bespoke service that includes farm visits and consultancy.
Farm Carbon Calculator
Farm Carbon Calculator was developed 10 years ago by Farm Carbon Toolkit as a free resource to further understand on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. It offers data on the total carbon emissions and carbon offsets, with suggestions on where improvements might be made.
Cool Farm Tool is useful because it looks at both ends of the supply chain. Companies can use it to collate and manage supply chain emissions and biodiversity to encourage, motivate, track and reward continuous improvement, and farmers can use it for decision support. Created by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab.
Other environmental calculators are available.
These three charities work in partnership under the umbrella Farming Help, combining mental health advice, financial help and crisis support.
Farming Community Network
Contact them via their free phone or email helplines for support relating to personal or business issues. They also run regular ‘Yarn in a Barn’ events – free, regional lunches or suppers designed to bring farming communities together to combat isolation in rural areas. See also FarmWell.
The Addington Fund was set up at the time of the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 and provides practical help in times of crisis – from disaster relief and small grants, to retirement homes and affordable housing.
Forage Aid offers practical help to farmers hit by ‘acts of God’ or extreme weather events, by mobilising their network to offer emergency forage and/or bedding. Donated by fellow farmers across the UK, volunteer-led haulage and regional coordinators work to assist those afflicted on the ground.
This page has a comprehensive list of local wellbeing support information from all around the UK.
Royal Countryside Fund
With a pledge to support 10,000 family farms and help communities become more viable the Royal Countryside Fund offers practical help through small grants and programmes aimed at improving rural resilience. They have also carried out research into issues facing rural and farming communities. This Directory of farm and rural support groups is full of useful information and free to download.
Yellow Wellies – Farm Safety Foundation
Every February the FSF organise the #MindYourHead campaign, but Yellow Wellies offers many other services, with a mission to prepare the next generation of farmers to be responsible, confident and safe, both physically (by avoiding accidents etc) and mentally.
Mental Health Foundation
Some good advice and downloads about mental health in general, and rural communities in particular.
A free 24-hour helpline for all people involved in farming in England and Wales, including special services for youngsters. Kooth is for young people aged 11 to 17, while Qwell is aimed at those aged 18+. In 2021, RABI launched the largest ever research project relating to the wellbeing of farming people – the Big Farming Survey. Here are the key findings.
YANA (You Are Not Alone) promotes mental health awareness amongst those in agriculture and other rural businesses in East Anglia. They have a phone and email helpline. They offer Mental Health First Aid Training, run events and campaigns and offer counselling.
We Are Farming Minds
A phone and text helpline, established to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health in the farming community in Herefordshire. They offer training, advice and support such as befriending and social events to help combat loneliness.
The DJP Foundation
A free 24-hour confidential helpline/text links you up to volunteers and counselling services. Based in Pembrokeshire, they have English and Welsh-speaking counsellors across Wales.
A wealth of information, covering self help, counselling, cost of living support, walking and talking groups and other events.
The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution has a wide range of services for people involved in farming and related industries, including helplines, events, help with heating, financial support and more.
Change Mental Health
A Scotland-wide charity with a weekday-only Advice and Support Service where advisers can signpost you to local support, including special services for Scottish farmers. They also offer initial advice on money worries and help to deal with emergencies.
A multi-agency website to help farmers deal with mental health issues. Incudes the WHO-5 Test, to help you understand your levels of stress, and point you towards services and support, including a free 24/7 helpline, Lifeline.
Irish Farmers Association
IFA has a Dealing with Stress handbook, 24/7 helpline and Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service, lining up to services organised by Pieta, one of Ireland’s leading mental health charities. Regional services throughout the country.
Rural Support Agency
Rural Support provides a listening and signposting service for farmers and farming families across Northern Ireland through its support line. It can also provide face to face support, help with sourcing information and advice about a wide range of issues.