Farming News - Podcast reveals secrets of Wiltshire farm’s distillery diversification

Podcast reveals secrets of Wiltshire farm’s distillery diversification

27 Nov 2018
Frontdesk / Finance

A Wiltshire estate which has successfully diversified into brewing and making vodka and gin is featured in the latest podcast in NFU Mutual’s ‘Ahead of the field’ series.

Designed to help farmers plan to make their businesses viable after Brexit, the podcasts provide in-depth interviews with farmers who run successful diversified farms.

The 19,000 acre Ramsbury Estate near Marlborough has diversified into food and drink production, including a brewery, gin and vodka production, together with rapeseed oil and honey. The gin and vodka, sold under the Rams Head brand name, are sold across Europe – and even as far afield as the Philippines.

Planned as a sustainable enterprise, the distillery uses wheat grown on the estate to make the farm’s gin and vodka while a biomass boiler is fed by sustainable woodland . Livestock are then fed the spent wheat from the distillery, and waste water is cleaned in a wildlife-friendly reed bed system.

Farm Manager Alistair Ewing said: “At Ramsbury we carefully plan our diversification activities to support the estate’s finances while make use of our land and other resources sustainably.

“I would advise farmers thinking of diversifying to take the same approach and, if you decide to go ahead be determined to it do it well and at all costs avoid cutting corners.”

Recent research from NFU Mutual has found that almost two thirds of diversified farms say income produced is ‘vital’ or ‘significant’ to their farm. With one in five farmers planning to diversify to make farms sustainable without direct subsidies, NFU Mutual has produced a series of podcasts and an in depth diversification report to help farmers explore opportunities after Brexit. 

NFU Mutual’s  podcasts, hosted by ‘Rock and Roll Farming’ podcaster Will Evans, are now available to download on NFU Mutual’s website: nfumutual.co.uk/farming/farming-diversification