Farmers are declaring war against supermarkets as more milk price cuts are announced, with Morrisons being the target of recent disruption. A farmer quoted in a national paper said “There’s a crisis. People are selling the core of their business just to pay bills and the banks. It’s also a crisis for the consumer. They wish to buy British but if we don’t address this situation that’s going to be taken away from them by corporate greed.”
Dan Yates, founder of outdoor accommodation provider Pitchup.com, confirms they have seen a significant increase in the number of farmers looking for alternative revenue streams in the wake of recent cuts, with a growing number of farmers renting land out as pitches or adding lodge, caravan or ‘glamping’ accommodation.
At present Pitchup.com has 240 farmers selling outdoor holidays via its website.
“It’s not all doom and gloom as our best selling dairy farm has already taken £36,000 in bookings in 2015. Despite government forecasts that many farms will see incomes fall by between 11% and 21% in 2015*, income from tourism can more than counteract losses in the core farming business.”
Yates continues: “Whilst obviously this doesn’t address the problem that the reduction in milk production can cause for local economies, it does show that farmers wanting to diversify into tourism can reap rewards. It can be very straightforward to set up a campsite on a farm but the returns can be game-changing: our best selling campsite has received £200,000 of bookings in the last 12 months.”