Whole Farm Review Scheme
About the Whole Farm Review Scheme
The Whole Farm Review Scheme (WFRS) is designed to help farmers and crofters to develop environmentally and financially sustainable businesses. It is open to all farming and crofting businesses to apply, provided that they are registered in Scotland with IACS or use a current milk quota. Under the scheme, the Scottish Government will fund over 80% (up to a maximum of £2,400) of the cost of consultancy support needed to carry out the Whole Farm Review and further specialist advice needed to implement the action plan developed under the review. The grant is paid direct to the advisory business carrying out the review.
The review is carried out with the help of an accredited farm business adviser. They will review the agricultural business's recent performance, identify its main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop an action plan to improve the business. For the purposes of this scheme, advisers must be accredited through the Farm Business Adviser Accreditation Scheme for Scotland (FBAASS). The accreditation authority for FBAASS is Lantra. For further details about the accreditation scheme, please see the Lantra website.
The WFRS is not associated with any other grant scheme administered by the Scottish Government. This scheme provides an opportunity for the farmer, or crofter, to take a fresh look at the whole business and consider how it might be improved and developed in order to maximise all assets - business, environmental and skills.
Full details of the Scheme can be found in the Scheme Rules and Procedures Booklet WFR 1 (2010).
2nd time applications permitted from 1 June 2009
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, agreed that from 1 June 2009 farm businesses can now apply for a second whole farm review to be carried out on their business. However, the revised rules stipulate that there must be a minimum of 2 years between the date of the 1st approval letter and the date of the 2nd application.
Background to the Whole Farm Review Scheme
The WFRS was first launched by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) on 14 July 2004. The scheme has been developed following the publication, in February 2003, of the Scottish Executive's National Strategy for Farm Business Advice and Skills.
As the scheme was the first of its kind developed for farming businesses, an extensive real world pilot was held to test procedures and to gauge the likely level of interest within the farming industry. The pilot was launched on October 2003 with over 300 applications received within the first 6 weeks. The scheme was then refined to take account of the experience gained in the pilot and was formally launched in July 2004. Following 3 years of steady uptake and around 1,500 farm businesses having undertaken the review exercise, the scheme has been relaunched in May 2008 following a review by Scottish Government officials. The review recommended a number of changes to encourage greater uptake, including an increase in grant rates.