PR - Profitability Of Direct Marketing Farms In Less Favoured Areas (LFAs): Case Studies From Northumberland, England
Direct marketing by farmers is considered to be one of the most promising new areas of activity within a diversified rural economy and has received significant support in recent EU CAP reforms. It has yet to be revealed whether such activities can be profitable and sustainable over the long term, particularly in Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) where disadvantageous production conditions and a reduction in headage payments mean that livestock farmers face particularly stern challenges. In this paper, a farm-based analysis is conducted in the county of Northumberland in North East England. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two LFA livestock farmers who have diversified into direct marketing activities. Our findings suggest that in these cases direct marketing activities have become more lucrative than the conventional sources of income available to their neighbours through wholesale markets.
Keywords: direct marketing, farmers’ markets, Less Favoured Areas (LFAs), farm management.