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In part one of our diversification blog series, we’re going to focus on something we all have in our lives, food and drink. We’re going to take a closer look at just some of the many ways you can adapt your rural land and property into producing and/or selling food and drink. 
1. Farm Shop 
The farm shop is one of our favourites here at Landscope. Being based next door to the fantastic Franklin’s Farm Shop, we can see all the benefits of running a rural enterprise like this. Your farm shop can either sell your own produce, local produce or a mixture of both. The demands of your customers will inform your decision. Many farm shops tend to be a mixture of both as this ensures they bring the best of the best and that they can keep up with sales. Where a farm shop is an extension of a current farming enterprise, you may not need planning permission but it’s always best to check. 
2. Food Processing Unit 
Adding a food processing unit to your rural land or property can help your business save money, make money or both! If you send produce/livestock off to be processed elsewhere, you can save on the cost of sending them away by developing your own facilities. Furthermore, you can offer your services to other farms and make money by processing their produce for them. If you have the capacity to do both, even better! 
3. Food Preparation for Catering 
This will involve preparing either your own or bought produce for use in commercial kitchens. Some restaurants/food outlets simply don’t have time or space to peel, chop, slice, carve or, in some cases, cook produce so they look to outsource this kind of work. Rural settings can offer the space to work with large quantities of produce that urban areas just don’t have. 
4. Farm Café 
Cafés situated on farms can provide the perfect family day out or afternoon tea setting. Whether you’re serving produce you’ve grown and prepared yourself or other locally sourced goods, a café is a fantastic opportunity to connect with locals and build a community. Combining this with a farm shop allows customers to buy the very same ingredients that you use to recreate your yummy dishes at home. Offering families places where children can interact with animals and learn about farming also benefits the rural economy and build environmental awareness. 
If you’re looking at diversifying your rural business and need help securing planning permission, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to help advise you, even if it is to help you work out whether you need planning in the first place and your options for securing it if you do. 
This blog series is designed to inspire rural businesses to consider diversification projects to increase income streams and improve revenue. It’s important to remember that not all land and property is suitable for every method of diversification so be realistic before setting your heart on a project. Also, following your own personal passions is more likely to result in long term success. 
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