Gearing for Change in 2020 – with help from CAFRE and the BDG Scheme

Date published: 13 January 2020

With the right data and information and some help from CAFRE, you can make informed decisions to improve your business as the external environment changes.

Learning from one another is a key feature of Business Development Groups

By joining a Business Development Group (BDG), you will be networked to a CAFRE Adviser and a group of like-minded farmers. This will provide a forum for you to improve your awareness of changes in the business environment and improve your confidence in making decisions to adapt to change. 

Farm businesses are affected by external factors, over which they have no control.  These include milk or beef prices, trends in consumer diet, improvements in technology and changes to legislative requirements.

However, as a member of a BDG, you will meet six times per year and discuss topics which are decided by the group.  The training events take place mainly on local farms and are led by a CAFRE adviser.  Your adviser will be available to visit your farm and assist you in preparing a farm business development plan.  You will also have access to the CAFRE farm benchmarking service.

BDGs are available to join for the main farm enterprises.   The new ‘Environmental Farming’ Business Development Groups are also available to join.  Feedback about BDGs has been very positive. Members appreciate the opportunity to learn from one another and develop their farm businesses in a social setting.   

The Business Development Groups scheme is open for applications until Friday 24 January 2020 at 4pm.  To apply on-line visit the CAFRE website or visit your DAERA Direct office where you can apply on-line with assistance.  For queries e-mail or telephone 028 9442 6790.


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Business Development Groups Scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and is funded by DAERA and the European Union.

  2. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.

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  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: DAERA Press Office (  Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned



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